Garage bands need not apply for Amante’s popular Tribute Tuesdays

September 18, 2012

By David Hayes

Styx tribute band Borrowed Time performs during the first run through the Tribute Tuesday schedule at Amante. Contributed

Many venues in Issaquah offer live entertainment. Few, however, host standing-room-only events, and on a Tuesday night at that.

The second go-around for Tribute Tuesdays kicked off Sept. 11 at Amante Pizza & Pasta in downtown Issaquah.

The brainchild of Seattle musician Arny Bailey, Tribute Tuesdays features a weekly lineup of bands whose playlist is exclusive to one classic rock act. For Bailey, it began with Wings N Things, a tribute to the music of Paul McCartney and the Wings.

“We started in Issaquah at Field of Champions with Wings N Things Wednesdays,” Bailey said. “The pitch had the house offering a sale on wings.”

When the restaurant’s ownership changed, Bailey needed a new venue. After a stint in Redmond, the lineups expanded — word was getting out and a following was building. Tribute bands to Styx, Bad Company and Linda Ronstadt, to name a few, were added to the lineup.

Come spring this year, Bailey was in need of another venue change. Amante owners Kezork and Monika Baklain, having heard of the growing popularity of the tribute series, offered their stage. Amante is now the place to be Tuesday nights, but you better have reservations.

If you go

Tribute Tuesdays

  • 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Amante Pizza & Pasta
  • 131 Front St. N.
  • 313-9600
  • Space is limited, so reservations are recommended.

“It’s been a really good response,” Monika said. “It’s built a good following, especially for a Tuesday night.”

With tables to seat about 100, reservations are a must, she added.

“We’re getting booked at least a week before the show,” Monika said. “Since word’s out the bands are so good, we usually overbook and have 15 to 20 people standing in the back in the bar area.”

Bailey said the bands he’s lined up to perform at Amante have loved the venue, the crowd response and the support from the owners.

“The biggest thing is the owners have been so nice,” Bailey said. “It means a lot to the bands. The worst thing for bands is to perform somewhere and the owners say they hated it.”

Based on the amount of community response, there’s no chance of Tribute Tuesdays experiencing that at Amante.

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