Antsy McClain opens Carson City Levitt AMP Concert Series
If you’ve been waiting impatiently for free live music in Carson City, the time has come. It’s time to let loose and put on the dancing shoes, as Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours open the Levitt AMP Concert Series on June 22.
Antsy McClain has played in Carson since the 2000s, including last year.
“It’s a good area for us,” McClain said. “We have a lot of friends there. We love the area.”
He said he’s ready to have a great time on stage to open the summer concert series, bringing along with him a six-piece band (saxophone, keyboard, two guitars, bass and a drum kit). He said he and the band are good friends and they have a great time.
“We’re up there to show everybody a good time and get them to forget about their troubles for a couple of hours,” he said.
McClain performs many solo shows from coast to coast. He’s performed with the likes of PBS, NPR and TEDTalks. With this being a bigger event closer to home, he brings a full band, and he said the members and instruments really raise it up a notch or two.
“Those guys make me sound good,” he said. “My band is very talented, they know hundreds of songs, play in different bands and know how to mix it up.”
Antsy McClain is excited to kick off the summer concert series. He said he’ll have several new songs. He and the band are working on a new album — hopefully out by Christmas. He describes the show as a unique blend of “humor with heart.” His songs are funny and up-tempo, and ones that they can laugh at themselves while playing, he said.
He loves what he gets to do on stage. He said he was nicknamed Antsy by family members who saw his high energy as a kid. His family couldn’t afford Ritalin, so he’s carried ADD his whole life, he said. He alleviates that by putting his energy on the stage.
“It’s my medication,” he said.
He’ll bring Pine View Heights to Carson City. It’s a 1970s trailer park filled with hard-working and humorous people where Antsy grew up. He describes Pine View Heights now as a state of mind.
“The world that we create during our two-hour show is Pine View Heights, and we invite everyone into our world,” he said.
WHAT: Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours at Brewery Arts Center Levitt AMP Concert Series; Opening act Kingwhistler
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 22
WHERE: Minnesota Street Stage 449 W. King St., Carson City
CONCERTS KICK OFF
The Levitt AMP Carson City Music Series, hosted by the Brewery Arts Center, are sponsored from a grant from the Levitt AMP Foundation. This is the fourth year. Not all costs are covered by the grant, as donations from the community and volunteers help keep things running. The concerts include dynamic and eclectic live music of various genres. It’s a comfortable, family-friendly environment, where patrons can bring their own seats, or there are chairs provided to sit in or there is plenty of room to stand or dance in front of the stage. There’s plenty of activities to keep children occupied and also a couple of games for adults. Several food trucks always make sure everyone stays well-fed and there’s a stand for beer or wine. They’ll be going on every Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. (June 29 show starts at 7:30 p.m.)
June 29: Jordan T; opening act: Stonewood (begins at 7:30 p.m.)
July 6: The Novelists; and Kara Grainger
July 13: The Mother Hips; opening act: 10 Dollar Pony
July 20: Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience; opening act: Darabello ft. Louisa Lopez
July 27: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal; and Remember Jones
Aug. 3: Flor de Toloache; opening act: Drinking with Clowns
Aug. 10: Dead Winter Carpenters; opening act: Spike McGuire
Aug. 17: Wicked Tinkers; opening act: Cíana
Aug. 24: The Brevet; opening act: New Wave Crave
Antsy McClain plays original music, all songs that he’s written himself. The songs are character sketches of the people he knew growing up and influenced him as a kid. He said they play their own version of country or Americana. A lot of songs include blues and R&B, with a little bit of jazz thrown in for good measure. And you might recognize a Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin riff when the band is having fun and jamming out.
“A lot of people see the title and think it’s a campy novelty act,” he said. “We’re serious musicians who like to have fun.”
While Pine View Heights may not exist physically, like Antsy McClain said, it is a state of mind. His inspiration for new songs come from an occasional nostalgic memory about childhood or the past, but he still grows through family and traveling.
“I’ve got such a wonderful, rich life now, with the people in my life I’m so grateful for — my children are grown; I’ve got grandchildren,” he said. “I’m enjoying every bit of that.”
As a traveler, music has taken him around the world. He loves what Mark Twain said about travel and how it gets rid of your prejudices. Antsy McClain said you can’t help but be influenced by where you go, where you’ve been, who you’ve met and even the food you eat.
“There’s a lot of metaphors about life when you travel and everything is move so fast around you, yet you feel caught in this wonderful bubble where you can see everything around you in clarity,” he said.