Maximum Ames partnering with Ames Pride for 2 nights of free live music at 3 venues around town

Ronna Faaborg
Ames Tribune

Maximum Ames is holding two nights of free live music at three venues Friday and Saturday in conjunction with Ames Pride’s “Pride Around Town” event.

“This is a special event that we’re co-producing with Ames Pride,” said Fred Love from Maximum Ames. “It’s two days, so it’s a little smaller than what we usually do for a full-on music festival, but we’re going to be at three great Ames venues.”

Along with downtown Ames’ London Underground and The Angry Irishmen, Alluvial Brewing Company has been added as a venue this year.

“Alluvial has that beautiful stage and their own PA system, and so we think that’s going to be a great fit as a venue this year,” Love said.

The music lineup is mostly — but not entirely — local talent.

“We tried to stay pretty focused on the Ames community and giving those artists a spotlight,” he said. “We’ve also got Miss Christine — they live in the Iowa City area and they’ve been a part of previous Maximum Ames events; SLICE the Celestial Sorcerer has also been part of our events in the past, and we love to have him.”

Maximum Ames is Ames’ longest-running music festival. Last year, for the event's 10th anniversary, the live music was live-streamed from several Ames venues due to the pandemic.

This year, Maximum Ames wanted to be a little bit scaled back and more focused, Love said, and that is entirely because the pandemic really compressed their calendar.

“We’re doing this on a smaller budget because we didn’t seek out sponsors like we have in the past,” Love said. “There was so much uncertainty out there because of the pandemic, so this is very much DIY in partnership with Ames Pride.

“We want it to be a display of support for the LGBTQ community in Ames.”

Here's the music lineup along with a brief description of the music, courtesy of Maximum Ames:

Maximum Ames' Friday, Sept. 10 lineup

7 p.m. at the Alluvial Brewing Company, 3715 W. 190th St.

Wally Neal & the Thistles of Mercy — Guitar strings and organ keys soaked in the tonic tears of a thorny, smiling deep prairie spirit. This is soul and roots music, a new group with an evolving cast of players.

Wally Neal

Wiitch Tiit — Wiitch Tiit is a Femme/Queer/Cis band with sounds that range from lullabies to psychedelic rock ‘n roll.

Wiitch Tiit

10 p.m. at The Angry Irishmen, 119 Main St.

King Wylde — IPR and DMMC's Iowa Artist of the Month (May), King Wylde is an inspiring artist who tastefully blends the genres of Rock and RnB. With a truly electrifying stage presence and killer showmanship, he is a must-see musician.

King Wylde

Evan Campbell — Long-time Ames singer/songwriter whose music is a feeling that flows unquestioned.

Evan Campbell

8 p.m. at the London Underground, 212 Main St. 

Strong Like Bear — Strong Like Bear is a band from Ames that has played together since 2006. By writing melodic songs that show off their vocal harmonies and collective musicianship, SLB has become a mainstay in Iowa music, playing across the state and beyond. The band has recorded numerous EPs, singles and albums, including a pornographic Christmas concept album and their recent foray into stoner rock, “In The Future, Only The Rich Will Live Forever,” and has taken part in album tributes to Pink Floyd’s “Animals” and Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” with their comrades in Electric Jury.

Strong Like Bear

Bleujack —  An Ames musician and blue-collar career enthusiast who mixes rock, hip-hop and acoustic singer-songwriter influences.

Bleujack

Maximum Ames' Saturday, Sept. 11 lineup

7 p.m. at the Alluvial Brewing Company

SLICE — SLICE the Celestial Sorcerer is a jazz/funk-influenced hip-hop lyricist/producer originally from the Chicago area who brings heavy bass lines, intricate wordplay and heavenly rhythms to the forefront. Spaced-out, cosmic and magical in its appeal, SLICE’s music harkens back to the golden days when hip-hop not only made you move, it made you think. Sometimes spiritual, always intellectual. Hypnotic thump ... at its most celestial.

SLICE the Celestial Sorcerer

Ben Schrag & the Cautionaries — Sweet, sad and a little rambunctious, Ben Schrag & the Cautionaries is a four-piece acoustic band from Ames. Schrag’s songwriting has received national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Ben Schrag and The Cautionaries

10 p.m. at The Angry Irishmen

Miss Christine — Christine Moad had achieved the musician’s dream: Success as an internationally touring bassist and many side gigs back in Nashville. There was just one problem: They were unfulfilled. They left it all behind and came home to Iowa, where they crafted the foundations of their debut record, "Conversion." Indie rock, new wave and bluesy soul influences and more all find their home amongst a punky grit. Gender, personal strength, challenging relationships and the current political climate in the United States are just some of the subjects tackled in the record. Christine’s free spirit and positive attitude are sowing the seeds of self-acceptance for a new generation of women, men and others.

Miss Christine

V Ellsbury — V is an Ames singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Picking up their first guitar at age 11, they haven’t stopped since. V’s sound can best be described as sultry and haunting with a little soul and blues dropped in.

V Ellsbury

10 p.m. at the London Underground

DJ Elliot James — Dance music from a longtime Maximum Ames favorite.

DJ Elliot James