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Things to do in South Bend

Maija Gustin | Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Subkirke is a bright spot in South Bend’s musical landscape. The resident concert venue at the South Bend Christian Reformed Church (SBCRC) has been growing steadily since it began in 2009 and now brings small, mostly indie, bands in nearly every week.

Yes, Subkirke is held in a church. But don’t be fooled — just because it’s a church does not mean that only Christian rock groups come to perform.

Subkirke has hosted notable acts such as Horse Feathers, BowerBirds, Bon Iver’s S. Carey and Maps & Atlases. You may not often see people from the iTunes Top 10 playing at Subkirke, but the venue has so far brought in some of the most popular and well-regarded indie acts from around the country.

The team at the SBCRC considers Subkirke, derived from the church’s acronym, a part of their ministry. In this case, though, the ministry is not meant to preach to people, but rather to provide the local community with top-notch music in a welcoming environment at a great price.

They believe in a commitment to the arts, generally, and the power of the arts to open your eyes and move your soul. In addition to bringing in these bands to play for the community, SBCRC also frequently hosts art exhibits in its building, which you can check out before or after the concert.

Concerts are held in the church’s sanctuary. The room is spacious yet intimate and has great acoustics for the artists. The room is full of chairs and pews to accommodate large crowds, but it is not uncommon for the masses to move to the stage and stand mere feet from the band for a good show.

When you walk into the church, you can immediately tell how dedicated everyone is to being there. These people are there to have fun and listen to great music, and that’s it. The environment is electric, and the concerts always attract sizable crowds of fans.

Though the bands that visit Subkirke may not be radio favorites, the venue makes sure to bring in a variety of acts, from folk-inspired to alternative, that hail from all parts of the country. The Subkirke team knows its music and always manages to find the best-hidden (and not-so-hidden) acts around.

The bands always seem genuinely excited to be playing and devoted to putting on the best show for the grateful audience. When a band is willing to play for a small, intimate audience like at Subkirke, you know they really want to be there. Being so close to the band as they perform, you can’t help but feel a connection.

At the Maps & Atlases concert two weeks ago, Subkirke brought in Notre Dame student band Ratboy to open for the Chicago-based “math rock” band. As soon as Maps walked onto the stage, the crowd surged forward and spent the entirety of the set standing so close to the band that you could practically touch them. Fans were dancing to the music and singing along with their favorite songs, completely wrapped up in the performance.

Most of Subkirke’s acts inspire this kind of passion from the crowd, be they old fans or newcomers to the music, and the $12 ($10 if ordered ahead of time) ticket is a small price to pay for that experience. Whether you know the band or not, Subkirke is worth checking out — you won’t find anything quite like it in the rest of South Bend. The team at Subkirke is there to provide a great night of music for the crowd and they deliver every time. So take a chance on an unknown band, or look to see if your favorite indie band will be making its way there soon. Coming up is popular Michigan band Breathe Owl Breathe on Sept. 30 and Frontier Ruckus on Oct. 28.

Subkirke is located at 1855 N. Hickory Road in South Bend. Check out subkirke.com for upcoming acts, tickets and more information on the venue.  

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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archive

Things to do in South Bend

Maija Gustin | Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Subkirke is a bright spot in South Bend’s musical landscape. The resident concert venue at the South Bend Christian Reformed Church (SBCRC) has been growing steadily since it began in 2009 and now brings small, mostly indie, bands in nearly every week.

Yes, Subkirke is held in a church. But don’t be fooled — just because it’s a church does not mean that only Christian rock groups come to perform.

Subkirke has hosted notable acts such as Horse Feathers, BowerBirds, Bon Iver’s S. Carey and Maps & Atlases. You may not often see people from the iTunes Top 10 playing at Subkirke, but the venue has so far brought in some of the most popular and well-regarded indie acts from around the country.

The team at the SBCRC considers Subkirke, derived from the church’s acronym, a part of their ministry. In this case, though, the ministry is not meant to preach to people, but rather to provide the local community with top-notch music in a welcoming environment at a great price.

They believe in a commitment to the arts, generally, and the power of the arts to open your eyes and move your soul. In addition to bringing in these bands to play for the community, SBCRC also frequently hosts art exhibits in its building, which you can check out before or after the concert.

Concerts are held in the church’s sanctuary. The room is spacious yet intimate and has great acoustics for the artists. The room is full of chairs and pews to accommodate large crowds, but it is not uncommon for the masses to move to the stage and stand mere feet from the band for a good show.

When you walk into the church, you can immediately tell how dedicated everyone is to being there. These people are there to have fun and listen to great music, and that’s it. The environment is electric, and the concerts always attract sizable crowds of fans.

Though the bands that visit Subkirke may not be radio favorites, the venue makes sure to bring in a variety of acts, from folk-inspired to alternative, that hail from all parts of the country. The Subkirke team knows its music and always manages to find the best-hidden (and not-so-hidden) acts around.

The bands always seem genuinely excited to be playing and devoted to putting on the best show for the grateful audience. When a band is willing to play for a small, intimate audience like at Subkirke, you know they really want to be there. Being so close to the band as they perform, you can’t help but feel a connection.

At the Maps & Atlases concert two weeks ago, Subkirke brought in Notre Dame student band Ratboy to open for the Chicago-based “math rock” band. As soon as Maps walked onto the stage, the crowd surged forward and spent the entirety of the set standing so close to the band that you could practically touch them. Fans were dancing to the music and singing along with their favorite songs, completely wrapped up in the performance.

Most of Subkirke’s acts inspire this kind of passion from the crowd, be they old fans or newcomers to the music, and the $12 ($10 if ordered ahead of time) ticket is a small price to pay for that experience. Whether you know the band or not, Subkirke is worth checking out — you won’t find anything quite like it in the rest of South Bend. The team at Subkirke is there to provide a great night of music for the crowd and they deliver every time. So take a chance on an unknown band, or look to see if your favorite indie band will be making its way there soon. Coming up is popular Michigan band Breathe Owl Breathe on Sept. 30 and Frontier Ruckus on Oct. 28.

Subkirke is located at 1855 N. Hickory Road in South Bend. Check out subkirke.com for upcoming acts, tickets and more information on the venue.  

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Things to do in South Bend

Maija Gustin | Monday, September 5, 2011

Walk around Notre Dame’s campus on any given day and you will often hear cries of, “South Bend is so boring,” or “There is nothing to do here!” But despair no more, fellow Domers. There actually are things to do in South Bend beyond going to Five Guys and O’Rourke’s. If you’re willing to be a little adventurous and try something new, South Bend is waiting to entertain you.

Since the busy life of a Notre Dame student doesn’t leave much time for digging through all of South Bend’s offerings, though, Scene is here to help you. Turn to the center of The Observer for Things to do in South Bend.

The South Bend Farmer’s Market is a popular destination for locals, but unfortunately remains far off the radar for most Notre Dame students. I implore you to change this immediately. The Farmer’s Market, which runs year-round, is both a source for amazing food, produce and other delicacies and is an exciting outing for even the pickiest Domer.

After hunting for a good parking spot in the inevitably crowded parking lot, your senses will be assailed by an array of the finest local produce around. Don’t let the crowds deter you ⎯ the large number of daily visitors is merely a testament to how truly wonderful the South Bend Farmer’s Market is.

Navigate around your fellow browsers to take a closer look at the brightly colored peppers and creamy, homemade gelato. The Farmer’s Market features a little something for everyone, from the little kids with their gourmet smoothies, to the families enjoying a meal in the always-packed Farmer’s Market Café.

The venue offers more than just food. Local artisans sell their jewelry and clothes between Indiana-based winemakers and collections of antiques.

But if food is what you’re after, the Farmer’s Market offers the freshest locally grown produce, home-grown teas and spices, fresh deli meats, homemade bread and pizza dough, soft pretzels baked in front of you and any other culinary treat your heart (and stomach) could desire.

Take a group of friends to the market and scour the vast selection to create a dinner menu that will taste gourmet. Or spend a Saturday browsing the selections while chowing down on freshly baked muffins and warm ciabatta bread.

Martin’s and Meijer may offer the fruits, vegetables and other items that you want at any time of the year, but a hallmark of the Farmer’s Market is its locally grown, seasonal produce. Sure, you can’t get fresh strawberries year round. But when they are there, you’re guaranteed to get the best tasting strawberries you’ve ever had.

Shopping for seasonal produce will also open your eyes to a whole new world of fruits and vegetables. Butternut squash may not have looked that tempting at the grocery store, but when you see the locally grown selection this fall, you just might have a change of heart.

The South Bend Farmer’s Market is really just a fun place to go. It has a laid back atmosphere that is perfect for browsing with your friends on a Saturday morning.

The South Bend Farmer’s Market is located at 1105 Northside Boulevard. Just hop in your car and head south on Notre Dame Avenue. Turn left at the river and follow it the rest of the way to this food-lover’s haven.

The market is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

With an away game coming up this weekend, what better way to prepare for a nighttime game watch than to pick up some ingredients for guacamole, veggie dip, homemade pizzas and all your other football-watching necessities? The South Bend Farmer’s Market has got you covered.

The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Maija Gustin at mgustin@nd.edu