As some of you may have heard, Anthill Pub & Grille officially announced they will be closing in the next two weeks. The Pub’s ten-year contract has run up and the university put its contracts out to competitive bid, and decided to take up different offer. This fall would have marked the TEN year anniversary for me there; I started my undergrad at UC Irvine in 2007 and have been playing at the Anthill once or twice a month for just shy of a decade. It’s truly unheard of for any gig to last that long. But it’s not just a gig…
The Anthill is really a special place for me. I started there as a shy freshman, playing in a band called OPEN FIFTH with a bunch of juniors, seniors, and grad students. I was really excited and honored to be a part of that group. It was really inspiring to see them write and perform their own music – I learned how to run book/run rehearsals outside of school. The importance of showing up to the gig on time. Know what clothes to wear. Just in general, how to “get your shit together.” Also, how to drink.
They all were major influences on me as a player, and outside of music as well. As time went by I started writing more of my own stuff, calling different players, booking all kinds of groups with different lineups. I got to met and jam with people that were way out of my league musically. I got to take some serious risks and truly experiment with the music. I learned what works and what doesn’t work. Some of my closest friends today are people that I met there. I really “got my shit together” at the Anthill Pub.
I still have photos, posters, and recordings from every one of those gigs. I don’t know how many different musicians are on these recordings, I’d guess at least 100 different players, some of whom aren’t even with us anymore today. I’ve been listening to some of these recordings today and looking through the old pictures and have been overwhelmed with nostalgia. Right there, that’s the moment that I learned “It Could Happen To You.” And now that’s me not knowing the form of “Alone Together”. Nope. (Sorry Duane, thanks for not killing me). Though initially disgusted at the sound of my own playing on the old tapes, I am glad to say I’ve gotten a lot better!
I need to send out a huge THANK YOU to Scott Winterstein, for giving us a shot that one time ten years ago and continuing to have us be a part of the Anthill for so long. Everything mentioned above would not have been possible without you. The “New” Anthill had just opened my freshman year, and it is inseparable from my college experience. I would not be who or where I am today without the opportunities you offered and I am eternally grateful for all of my time spent in your bar. Whether or not I was even making any music. And so after all that…
I really hope you can join us for OPEN FIFTH’s last call: One last party. A night of tunes, drinks, and memories. We’ll do a fun set up front followed by what I hope to be a huge jam session going late into the evening. All ages are welcome, (except for bar seating, 21+) As always, no cover or minimum.
Our final lineup will feature:
Brian Mantz – Trumpet
Craig Cammell – Sax
Aaron Provisor – Piano
Michael Alvidrez – Bass
Me – Drums
Plus some surprise guests…
The Anthill is a CASH ONLY BAR.
It can be a bit tricky to find the Anthill if you don’t know how to get there. It’s located in the student center, on the corner of East Peltason and Pererra Drive. There is a parking lot located across the street. You can call/text/message me if you need to.
Come and hang.