Rich Howells

Scranton music venue Stage West reopens, hosting alt rock trio The Boastfuls on Nov. 14

Scranton music venue Stage West reopens, hosting alt rock trio The Boastfuls on Nov. 14
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After hosting outdoor concerts miles away throughout the summer, Scranton music venue Stage West will once again open its doors for indoor dining, drinks, and music starting this Thursday, Nov. 12.

Scranton-based alternative rock band The Boastfuls will play its first scheduled show on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8:30 p.m. With social distancing and CDC safety guidelines in place, seating is limited, so contact Stage West on Facebook or Instagram to reserve a table in advance. The cover charge is $5 at the door (301 N. Main Ave., Scranton), and masks are required to enter.

“We love having The Boastfuls perform whenever the opportunity presents itself. They’re always high-energy and bring in a fun crowd,” Stage West owner Steve Masterson told NEPA Scene last year.

Following Parade Day on March 14, the West Scranton venue was among many of the small businesses forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the downtime, it managed to stay in business by offering an expanded menu of takeout food, a beer home delivery service, and by opening a cold-pressed juicery in the building called Press’d.

During the quarantine, it hosted Facebook Live trivia streams and teamed up with Scranton pop rock band Nowhere Slow, Ionic Development, and NEPA Scene to present a live streaming socially distanced concert on May 1. Each member of the band was spaced over 6 feet apart from each other across the entire empty venue as they played a 90-minute set of rock hits and interacted with Facebook commenters watching the stream from home.

When Lackawanna County entered the yellow phase of reopening on June 5, Stage West partially opened to the public for outdoor dining on its deck in mid-June, offering a weekly “Wings & Strings” series featuring wing specials and unplugged musicians. It celebrated the green phase of reopening soon after with its first indoor show with Nowhere Slow on June 27, but as national acts continued to cancel or postpone tours, Stage West, Masterson, and his booking company DamnMillennial Promotions shifted their focus to drive-in concerts, presenting events at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City and the parking lot of Montage Mountain in Scranton for the rest of the summer and into the fall.

This kicked off with Philadelphia dubstep producer Subtronics at Montage on Aug. 7-8 and country singer/songwriter Aaron Lewis at the Circle on Aug. 30. While the Pavement Rave EDM series sold out show after show at Montage (and even brought Camp Bisco founders The Disco Biscuits back to the mountain), the Circle had everyone from Steel Panther to The Allman Betts Band to Granger Smith to Skillet.

Now that the weather is too cold to continue events outside, Stage West is back in West Side. There is no word yet on when the second location in State College, which opened in late February and had to close soon after, will reopen.

Meanwhile, The Boastfuls have stayed as busy as working musicians can at the moment, playing mostly acoustic shows and a few full band sets, like at the 2020 Steamtown Music Awards in Scranton, as bars and restaurants started to welcome customers again.

On Dec. 27, 2019, the trio premiered their debut single “Tequila” and its music video on NEPA Scene, followed by a big release show at Stage West that night with Joe Burke & Co. and Tatiana Tell, who often performs with The Boastfuls and formed her own band last year.

“There was no deep connection or meaningful story behind the song,” guitarist/vocalist Martin Monahan said about “Tequila” before the show. “We actually went into the studio [with producer Zhach Kelsch] to record a different song.”

“For a warm up, we started jamming on ‘Tequila.’ Zhach was like, ‘What is that song?’ After some discussion, the song came together and just felt right,” bassist Chris Benitez continued.

“It just came out effortlessly,” added drummer Chad Wescott.

Named Best New Artist in the 2018 Steamtown Music Awards, the hard-working group played nearly 125 shows in 2019 alone; among those concerts was an opening slot for actor/musician Drake Bell and direct support for a leg of The Stonewall Vessels and The Morgana Phase’s summer tour. Just before the state-wide shutdown, they returned to Stage West to open for Asking Alexandria singer Danny Worsnop.

If things continue to open back up next year, hopefully the high-energy Boastfuls can restart the upward trajectory they’ve been on for the last three years.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of The Boastfuls’ single release show last year here.

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene