This Weekend In Kato: Getting Bent in a Post-What’s Up Wasteland

JCW-era Vampiro, Slash, Rasputin, and Shitty Gandalf rock Benderz

JCW-era Vampiro, Slash, Rasputin, and Gandalf rock Benderz

Sometimes, the best Friday nights are the ones you spend slamming IPAs while housecleaning, blasting a new Napalm Death record, and circle-pitting with your cat. But come Saturday, you’ll want to get out and experience life a little more, and thankfully, Mankato has some vitality on tap for the evening.

(Let’s talk about Apex Predator – Easy Meat real quick. It’s awesome. You should listen to it. Like, right now.)

If you find yourself marooned in our downtown ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT, Pub 500 is playing host to something called The Whiskies, which they describe as “2 guys, 2 guitars and 200 songs.”

But that’s not all! Hear it from The Whiskies themselves:

A high energy acoustic rock band. Amazing vocals and amazing guitar make an amazing performance whenever The Whiskies take the stage!

The Whiskies play everything from rock and blues to pop and current country. Along with this pure sound, they bring two, three and four part harmonies and unbelievable acoustic leads you will not hear in any other acoustic driven show. The show is geared to keep people energized, play what they want to hear and keep them on their feet.

Basically, if you’re boring, white, and drunk, this is your gig.

If your tastes skew toward bands that weren’t created for the sole purpose of generating literally HUNDREDS of dollars in bar tab revenue, skip across the bridge to Benderz in Lower North, where Cherry Pit Promotions has booked a diverse lineup of local punk rock acts, both stalwart and upstart.


Despite living a mere three blocks from Benderz, I have yet to set foot in the establishment, at least in its current incarnation. Some might say this is bad Mankatoing–I gave freaking Eatery Tap a fair shake, for chrissakes–but I tend to steer clear of bars that promote “Tuesday Steak Nights” and subject the letter “z” to unnecessary abuse. That’s going to change tonight.

Cherry Pit Promotions has a slate of all-ages shows booked at Benderz in the coming weeks. It’s premature / foolhardy to call it a “replacement” for the What’s Up; by most accounts, they simply aren’t equipped to be a legit venue, and they’ve already run into significant legal trouble in their brief tenure. But it could serve as a blueprint for scene sustainability moving forward.

In its last days, The What’s Up was hampered by its 21+ limitation. Unless you’re an uppity 25-year-old bitching about the capacity of an all-ages Amon Amarth show (and if you’re going to an Amon Amarth show, you don’t really have a reason to be uppity in first place), all ages + available bar = the ideal setup.

Younger people–you know, the ones that are unironically jazzed and totally un-jaded–will show up in droves, gleefully paying a $5 cover charge so they can do something other than get high in somebody’s basement. And old, crabby assholes like myself can cross the barrier and grab a beer or seven at our convenience, and still get home by, like, 11 p.m. This is awesome, because we’re old. And crabby.

See you at 7, Mankato.