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Bonar and Waller set to perform at the Englert

BY ASMAA ELKEURTI | JUNE 30, 2011 7:20 AM

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Live performances can provide the ultimate connection between a fan and a musician — and the new “Intimate at the Englert” series will allow fans of Haley Bonar and Holcombe Waller to gain access to their music in a whole new way.

The series makes the music more personal than ever by allowing fans to seat themselves on stage beside the performers, said Nathan Gould, the Englert marketing associate.

The concert is slated for 8 p.m. Friday at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St. Tickets are still on sale for $12.

The intimate nature of the concert demands a more exclusive attendance. Space is limited, so there are only 100 tickets available.

“It’s a unique opportunity to see the band onstage, 4 feet away from you,” Gould said.

Waller said an acoustic show provides an ideal setting for a close concert format.

“I’m really excited that we’re presented in that way,” Waller said. “An intimate concert will be perfect for us.”

Waller and Bonar are both dynamic musicians with a base in folk and American roots genres, and they each have personal characteristics to offer.

“Haley Bonar is a captivating performer and quite charming,” Gould said. “She’s kind of quirky, which is also fun to see live. She’s got a pretty strong attitude fan base. I’m personally a fan, and I think she’s making some pretty relevant music right now.”

Bonar has played with such big names as Lucinda Williams and Andrew Bird, on whose record she was featured.

“I’ve gotten to meet some fantastic musicians over the course of my music career,” Bonar said.

Gould said the local response to the upcoming concert has been very positive.

It’s not surprising, considering Bonar is no stranger to Iowa City. This is one of several concerts that Bonar has performed here, once with Mason Jennings at the Englert and another performance at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St.

“I really like Iowa City,” Bonar said. “I’ve had some great shows there. The people are awesome. There’s lots of good music in Iowa City, and it’s great that people are so supportive of that.”

Waller’s background in the theater can add an interesting and more captivating vibe to his musical performances.

“I think of myself first and foremost as a singer/songwriter and a composer, but I have taken a lot of maybe eccentric steps into the performing-arts context where I’m expanding on the normal idea of a concert.”

Alicia Rose, Waller’s manager and friend, said Waller has a “stunning” voice and point of view, especially because he is a gay singer-songwriter.

“The songs on [Into the Dark Unknown] feel like personal revelations to me,” Rose said. “His songwriting truly blows me away in the same way that I was left open-jawed hearing Nick Drake or Jeff Buckley for the first time.”

Waller and Bonar have only recently started touring together. They are each promoting new albums with Waller’s Into the Dark Unknown and Bonar’s Golder, which was released in April.

“Haley Bonar and Holcombe Waller are a dynamic duo,” Gould said. “You’ll get to see two different but also exciting performers in one concert.”


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