The Bottle Rockets concert at the Memorial Opera House was the fourth in a series produced by local media group Imagine Music Productions, LLC. Hundreds of people crowded around a well-lit stage at the house as the Bottle Rockets delivered on their promise of giving Valpo a classic rock show.
The Bottle Rockets came together in 1993. Since then, lead singer Brian Henneman has learned: “You don’t make expectations.” The band was feeling pretty good about their impending show but even in a calm, easy atmosphere (as described by Valparaiso attendee Bruce Devries) the band wanted to be prepared for anything.
For those of us less seasoned in the music industry, expectations were high.
Jennifer Foti, of New Carlyle, said, “They’re going to rock. They are the best bar band in the country.”
The owners and producers of Imagine Music, Rob Harkel and Brad Koeppen, have been trying to convince the Battle Rockets to play at the Memorial Opera House for years. An inspiring sound check assured the two men that they had made the right choice. They have specific hopes for the impact the Bottle Rockets will have on Valparaiso.
“Bringing a nationally recognized band to Valparaiso solidifies our ties to Chicago,” Harkel stated, explaining the association our hometown has as a suburb of the Windy City.
Brad elaborated that the entire concert series brings the city one step closer to becoming “the musical mecca of Northwest Indiana.”
The Bottle Rockets are definitely the kind of attention we need. Whether you describe them as alternative country or classic rock, you cannot help but notice the strong social satire embedded in their songs. They tell stories with their music that we can all relate to.
And the audience fell in love with that storytelling tonight.
With Harkel and Koeppen continuing to bring such great talent and voices into the annual concert line up we can all expect a fun time and a bigger spot on the map.