Phreemium performs Saturday at Flatbed Series |

Phreemium performs Saturday at Flatbed Series

By Kyler Klix

Phreemium plays in Carson City on Saturday as part of the Brewery Art Center’s Flatbed Concert Series.

Phreemium was just getting started as a band before all of their shows were canceled due to the pandemic. They return to the stage Saturday with a live show as part of the Brewery Art Center’s Flatbed Concert Series.

“We’re very excited,” said bandleader and drummer Brandon Dodge. “This is our first gig since the lockdown and we’re happy to get started.”

Phreemium is fairly new to the music scene after forming a year and a half ago. The band came about while the members were working on a musical. One night after a performance of Young Frankenstein at the Good Luck Macbeth Theatre in Reno, Dodge said he and others had a mini jam after the show.

“In the end, everything kind of clicked and we looked at each other and said we need to start a band,” he said. “And we did.”

Branden McKinnon, from Reno, plays bass. McKinnon was compiling musicians for a musical when he asked Dodge to join.

“We started doing musicals together and hanging out,” Dodge said.

Derek Fong plays saxophone. Dodge met him in college at UNR and eventually asked him to play in a musical that needed a woodwind player, which Fong could do.

Austin Smith joined later and plays guitar. Right now the band plays as a four piece, but it originally had five members, with a piano player. The piano player had to move to Seattle for work, but Dodge is hoping to book shows between Reno and there to incorporate the full band eventually.

“I think this is worth continuing and it’s really fun,” he said. “We’ve all had great enjoyment playing this music so far.”

The band’s music is jazz focused, but it does not sound like traditional jazz or a swing band, Dodge said. With most of the band’s roots in musicals, they bring different styles by playing jazz, funk, Latin or even creepy carnival music, he said. Dodge wants to show off the band’s creativity and strives to do original music and different compositions. The band will play jazz standards and rearrange them.

“We take multiple tunes and mash them together and make some interesting new products,” he said. “There’s lots of improvisation.”

He said they’ll try new stuff and the goal is to take chances and explore what’s there.

“It’s all right if we hit a bump here that everyone doesn’t like,” he said. “We’re trying to experiment and further music as a whole.”

Dodge thanks the BAC for putting on the event and giving Phreemium an opportunity to play in front of an audience.

“They’re doing a great job at making the best of the times right now,” he said. “Musicians like us have no gigs, an the industry is getting hit hard. But it’s things like the Flatbed Series that keeps the arts alive and keeping us alive. We’re very thankful for everyone.”

The show will be touring the Silver Oak area.