You may have heard the rumors – some lucky locals heard ahead of time, the rest after it had already happened. But yes, it’s true – Justin Vernon jammed on stage Saturday night during The Lakely's first public gig inside the new Oxbow Hotel in downtown Eau Claire, WI. The six-hour night of live music actually featured a ton of prominent locals in a bunch of jazz jams, with Vernon spinning some classic vinyl tracks from stage between each group. Sean Carey (Bon Iver, S. Carey) played a set, as did ’58 Belvedere, a trio anchored by Dave Power (The Staves, Aero Flynn). But the big moment of the night happened around 10:30pm, when drummer Brian Moen (Peter Wolf Crier, Shouting Matches, Laarks) started an ambient jam with guitarist Kyle Flater (Laarks), only to be joined on stage by Vernon on his OP-1 synthesizer. Soon after, Carey again joined the mix and the four of them took the intimate crowd into a funky exploration of an ambient shoegazing rock/jazz fusion.
Check out photos and some video below.
Aside from the music, the crowd enjoyed The Lakely's new menu of farmer-sourced dishes from Chef Nathan Berg, a well-curated list of craft cocktails and regional brews, and several spaces throughout the hotel and bar to have a drink and hang out. While it’s open now, The Oxbow Hotel will hold its official ribbon cutting at 4pm on Thursday, October 20 with grand opening festivities to follow that night and throughout the weekend. Live music at The Lakely is expected to happen at least every Friday and Saturday night, likely Thursdays as well. And a UW-Eau Claire jazz jam night is planned for Mondays starting soon. The way things are shaping up, you’ll never be able to tell who might pop up and play a set. Stay tuned.
Watch Justin Vernon, Sean Carey, Brian Moen, and Kyle Flater jam at The Lakely ...