For almost a half-hour, Hunter’s Ale House, 4855 E. Bluegrass Road, was at full capacity of 299 people to see Flint Eastwood, Delightfuls and Benthos perform Saturday night.
“This is the first time I’ve been to a show up here,” Sterling Heights freshman Patrick Wienckowski said. “I saw the flier, and I thought I should go.”
Sault Ste. Marie senior Shirley Wilkinson said having shows accessible to people between the ages of 18 and 21 in addition to the 21-and-over crowd allows more people to have the opportunity to see these acts.
“It’s opening it up to the Mount Pleasant community and not just the Central Michigan University community,” Wilkinson said.
Some people didn’t come to see the bands, but were turned on to them by seeing the large crowd and surrounding atmosphere.
Kentucky senior Marcus Noll said he didn’t know anything about the Farwell band Delightfuls but came away a fan.
“Their original songs were good, but the covers were really fun,” Noll said. “They played ‘I Fell in Love With a Girl’ by the White Stripes.”
He enjoyed their stage presence and liked their musicianship.
“They brought a lot of high energy,” he said. “They know how to play to a crowd.”
Newcomers like Wienckowski and Noll are examples of people Hunter’s Ale House is hoping to attract with its partnership with concert promoter Diamond in the Rough promotions.
“This would probably be one of the bigger shows we’ve done,” Hunter’s Ale House General Manager Pat Simons said.
Simons said that by allowing those between the ages of 18 and 21 to attend the show with proper ID, it gives more people a chance to see the acts.
“There is a demographic in town who are under 21,” he said. “Unless the show is on campus, they can’t go, so it’s an alternative.”
Midland band Killer Kong has played in Mount Pleasant many times, and the band’s guitarist Jesse Aho said having bands like Flint Eastwood play in town can bring attention to local bands.
“Without bands like that getting the crowd in, bands like Delightfuls might not get exposure that other bands do,” Aho said.
Diamond in the Rough Promotions Founder Corey Densmore, who has shows booked at Hunter’s with bands such as Bars of Gold and Empty Orchestra, said the show brought out many people who had never been to Hunter’s before.
“If people enjoyed themselves, they’ll probably come back,” Densmore said.
Flint Eastwood guitarist Jax Anderson said the crowd was very loosened up for their set and ready for them to go on.
“We start out energetic,” Anderson said. “It’s feeding off of each other. We’re passionate about what we’re doing.”
Anderson said being part of a successful show can only help the community.
“Every city should have a venue like this,” she said. “I think any time there’s a sold-out show, it’s building a community and a purpose.”
Upcoming shows at the venue include The Soil and the Sun returning to Mount Pleasant to play with Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, Moses and Newday Dreamers on Feb. 16 and Detroit band Bars of Gold performing with Grand Rapids band Empty Orchestra on March 22.