Unconscious, incredible fun at Why Store in Muncie, IN
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Chris Shaffer always draws a crowd after 20 incredible years as lead singer in the Why Store that played in DWNTWN at the Columbia Theater Friday night.
Where else could you see among the biggest names in Muncie's rock and roll history, besides an unconscious man celebrating one of those south Muncie reunions, a dad and his two kids playing pool and waiting for Shaffer to play besides some of the community's best party hounds having a great night of fun and rock and roll.
Shaffer and current band mates Jerry Rieskamp, Dan Hunt and Harvey Moesteller played those favorites like Lack of Water and Down by Memphis, besides other rock and roll classics.
What Ed Newby liked was Shaffer's rolling voice and rock lyrics, seeing the Why Store play for the first time, and also old enough to remember and visit the haberdashery that gave the band its name.
Party hound Scott Gaddis spent some time talking with Shaffer before the show about all those great Why Store concerts over the years. He remembered just last spring when Shaffer paid a visit to Muncie, and Gaddis had attended plenty of other outings with the band.
Mark Christal came with his children, Taylor and Khyen, to watching Shaffer who he has followed since the band formed back in 1991. The event allowed under 18 years olds and it was Taylor's first time to see the Why Store. She stood on a chair amid the crowd that danced throughout the band's set, while her brother, wearing a Kool Aid shirt, thought the band was cool too.
Christal, who works at Jarden, said he had attended Why Store concerts for 20 years and wanted his children to experience the energy and fun of the band.
The concert had dozens of people and even more from a south Muncie reunion that overran Freaky Tikki Friday and the Columbia Friday night. There's even a bigger south Muncie reunion Saturday at Cornerstone Center for the Arts that is expected to attract hundreds of people.
Police, fire and paramedics descended on the concert just after midnight when an older man passed out, and could not revived. He was taken to the hospital for treatment More than a dozen public safety officers and seven vehicles lighted Walnut Street as Shaffer played on.
Heather, who was working Hawaiian Barbeque outside, could not believe all the excitement, and said there had been good crowds at recent events. The Columbia hosted a recent motorcycle rally and also is home to local hip hop artists. The Blues Funk opened for Shaffer and local promoter Jeff Robinson organized the event.
Proprietor Chris Ellison had spent time and money rebuilding the old Center Stage and making it a great venue for pay to play events DWNTWN. He also runs The Silo and is reopening Cleos in the University Village.