Jan 6

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Allstage Crawl: Palasad Socialbowl

Allstage Crawl: King's Limit

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Palasad Socialbowl

A couple of weeks ago a dear friend of Barb and mine, Scott Bollert, gave me a tip about a local business that was going to incorporate live music into their establishment.

To offer some back story here, Scott Bollert is one of the sharpest music minds in this city. Scotty had for years been on the Jack Richardson Steering Committee, helms his own successful indie band named After The Lounge, switched gears entirely with a side project named A Taste of Sinatra, runs his own festival entitled Ceasar’s Fest and works extensively with younger musicians and bands.

I’ve certainly used him as a soundboard for many discussions and value his friendship immensely as a person.


So when Scott gave me a tip and some info about what was going on at Palasad Socialbowl at the corner of Oxford and Adelaide streets – I had to go check it out.

Now most people know Palasad Socialbowl as the place to go to bowl, play pool and just generally hang out and have fun – well it is all that and more now.

Garth, Marty and Jessica have added a unique dimension to their already successful business – a stage over their bowling lanes for live music !


The stage for a band is something out of heaven. Located above four bowling lanes at the pin’s end of the venue, stands a custom stage roughly 20x20 feet. The stage was custom designed and built by a company in Windsor and brought up and constructed as one permanent feature. It is comprised of sections that all interlock and give a band miles of room in both length and width for their gear and show.


The added feature is the superb EV system of monitors (4) and JBL subs and PA that make up the in-house system along with a digital sound board all supplied by London’s very own The PA Shop so you know the gear is excellent and reliable.


Added to all of that is the excellent lighting system to feature the band and a in-house soundman with the single designation of making it all come together. When the band comes on, the house lights for the bowling lanes dim out and underneath the stage there is red LED’s that give the coolest effect as the patrons can still bowl as the band plays on.

Now you may think, wow the band has to put up with the noise of bowling balls crashing into pins as they play – well I thought that too until I was actually there this past Friday – yes you can hear them but not so that it interferes with the sound of the band, the sound muffling aspects on the underneath of the stage mitigate it quite a bit to make it all work.

The venue itself is large and when we arrived around 9pm, there had to be easily 200 people present which was awesome for the band.


Already there are bands booked for the venue and I can see that this is going to be a definite “go to” place for music patrons looking for something really cool to hang out and see bands. The inside of the venue has lots of neon, cool lighting, bowling, pool tables and there is even a bar area just to sit and hang out with tons of seating all over the interior.

The food which I had to have along with my beer was to die for, Barb ordered some appetizers which I didn’t think would be filling and it was as well as being absolutely delicious. They have an army of staff on hand to serve customers and two security personal, so all the bases are covered.

There are plans to create a “dance floor” in the near future but there is so many cool things to do there you won’t be bored.


One word of caution to bands here. If you are a LOUD band, you are going to have to be business savvy and understand that you ARE going to have to be smart enough to govern your volume. You don’t have to play at a whisper but if you have a guitarist/bassist who always turns up once soundcheck is done through the show – then you probably won’t be back. Same for drummers – you have kit mics supplied so use some common sense in playing.


Load-in is through a side door on the south side of the building and from that door to the elevated stage is maybe 30 feet with a curtained off area beside the stage to store cases, coats, etc.


I’m thrilled that The Palasad Socialbowl is now an Allstage Affiliated Venue, this place is going to definitely raise the bar for live music venues in the city.


On a personal note is was great to do photos and video in there – the lighting guy once he saw me ditched the red LEDS and gave me the cool lighting needed for great shots – he obviously had his head in the game and understood details like that.

Simple common sense – when you have people taking pictures and tagging your venue you want them to get the best shots possible as that is instant free advertising for your venue. If people see great photos from many of the area’s excellent photographers online, then it makes your venue look like a definite place to attend for live music. If the pictures are bathed in red light and the camera can’t “lock on”, then photographers won’t take pics and as a venue owner you miss out on lots of free advertising.


The Palasad Socialbowl “gets it”.



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