PHILIPSBURG – Shawn Inlow took his living space in Philipsburg and turned it into Launchpad, a company that celebrates live and original music.
The Launchpad began as a way for the Stone Man band, which Inlow founded, to perform during the pandemic.
“(Stone Man is) the house group here,” said Inlow. “So I took my house, the place where I live, and turned it into a club where my group also lives. I invite all the creative people I can find… I think Phillipsburg could be a hotbed for original music.
Stone Man kicked off opening night on August 7. The registration fee was $ 20. Poppy & Co. organized the event. People can bring their own drinks and check their wares at the bar. Poppy & Co. takes half the entrance fee; the group takes the other half, according to Inlow.
Inlow said he received positive feedback regarding the show. It is currently preparing to be open on certain Saturdays. However, he hopes to eventually run every Saturday, bringing in various local talent.
“Whenever I get a group here that does original creative content, I want to support them. I want the audience to know that when they come here, they support original creative content,” Inlow said. “You can go. in any bar and turn on a jukebox. Where’s the cool in that? “
The space, located above the Poppy & Co. Cafe, required a lot of work before it opened. The old building has had a variety of uses in the past, including a yoga studio, a baseball batting cage and more, Inlow noted.
Inlow applied his vision and creative touch to the stage. Drawings by inspiring artists including Joan Jett, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and many more, can be found on the walls. Inlow used permanent markers for these designs.
Philipsburg moments are scattered throughout the Launchpad. A Slabtown Park bench, originally mistaken for a play with the approval of the Warden, rests near the back wall. There are plenty of places to relax, including a circle of recliners.
“I just want it to be a creative place, a comfortable place,” Inlow said. “I want people to come and stay, like a loft, a sweatshop, or a hangout, where you can listen to music without having to pretend you’re at the bar.”
The group setup, lighting and other creative elements are unique. Inlow places the group members across the room. The drummer is located in the center and the pianists are in different corners, allowing the spectators to look over the shoulders of the musicians, experiencing a closeness like no other.
Inlow remembers attending a concert at the Bryce Jordan Center. The stage, which was a round area, allowed the audience to surround the artist. Inlow said: “I imagined, what if the stage was enlarged and the audience was also on stage? Wouldn’t that bother the way the audience reacts to the performance? “
Inlow applied his knowledge of theater to space. By keeping the electric bill under $ 40 per month, Inlow uses wireless LED lights to keep costs down. “I wanted to say this as a proof of concept for my friends at (Clearfield Arts Studio Theater) because their electricity bills are huge. You can do a lot more with these kinds of lights because you don’t need to gel them. They cost less. They can be any color you want.
When lights hit a wall filled with painted rectangles, the color seems to change. The single space will be available for rent for parties, according to Inlow.
The pandemic helped serve as the spark for the project. Inlow observed that Philipsburg may have seen some of the positive impacts of the pandemic in completed projects across the region.
“Maybe the COVID era has given us a blessing, in a way, as everyone has done their project that they always wished they could do,” he said. “Everyone had to stop doing what they were doing and reassess their life. I had no idea it was going to turn out exactly like this, but I’ve been telling people about it for 20 years.