Andy's Bar Fights Its Reputation

Denton's Andy Bostick, of Andy's Bar fame, once threw a bone to a stray. It's been following him around ever since. Try as he might, he just can't seem to shake the little sucker.

Its name is Metal.

"We get 100 e-mails a week from metal bands wanting shows," Bostick says. "I'm thinking 'Jesus Christ, how many of you guys are there?'"

Since parting ways with its previous agent, the booking at Andy's Bar is now done by a collection of employees and Bostick himself. The process is a mixture of social networking tools and good old-fashioned going out on a limb.

It's a constant struggle, though: "[Andy's] has never been a cool-kid venue," Bostick concedes.

But even with the recent philosophical changes to the venue's processes, some of that stigma remains. And reputation being the long-term relationship that it is, it hasn't been easily shaken. Bostick admits that, for years, it wasn't exactly a secret that Andy's didn't have the greatest sound in town. That problem spelled trouble time and time again when it came to booking some of the more noteworthy acts in town, much less out of town.

But Bostick, who bought the building when it was a near-condemned structure with a basement that housed little more than a chest-high pool of standing water, has now invested tens of thousands of dollars into the venue.

"We brought in a couple high-end guys from House of Blues and the Granada to do the sound," he says. Now, having upgraded the system and added a curtain from an old University of North Texas speech room to the stage's fitting, Bostick hopes to attract more prominent names to his club. And, true to form, this past Friday's show saw Denton favorites RTB2, Young & Brave and Jessie Frye coming through the door. In short: It's the kind of thing Bostick would like to see a lot more of.

At that show, Ryan Thomas Becker, guitarist and singer of RTB2, said he's noticed changes as new generations of bands begin to fill bills at Andy's.

"It is cyclical, but I do feel like it's grown exponentially," Becker said of Denton's swelling nationwide presence. "I love to see the music evolve before my eyes."

In a city like Denton, which continues to garner national praise, it's no wonder Andy's is trying to evolve, too.

 
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