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Posted on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

Friday live-music happy hour tradition returning to Live nightclub

By Bob Needham


Drivin' Sideways plays at the former Live at PJ's on New Year's Eve 2010

File photo |

The long-running tradition of a Friday happy hour featuring Drivin' Sideways and other local bands has found a home—right where it was.

The happy hour—which caters to a middle-aged crowd and has at various times been based at the Blind Pig, Heidelberg Club Above and elsewhere—was most recently a fixture at Live at PJ's, until a recent change in ownership forced it to look for a new home.

But the new home turns out to be the old home, now renamed simply Live, after an email campaign aimed at the new owners.

After the ownership change, Drivin' Sideways sent a message to the happy-hour email list, asking fans to write to Live and ask the new owners keep the event alive. Chris Goerke, a member of Drivin' Sideways who has been organizing the happy hours in recent years, said fans wrote more than 120 emails of support in five days.

"That kind of pushed it on through," Goerke said. "The new owners are real reasonable and happy to keep the tradition going there."

Drivin' Sideways will play the first three dates of the reincarnated event, Feb. 17 and 24 and March 2, as well as March 16. George Bedard and the Kingpins are scheduled March 9, with the Vibratrons on March 23 and FUBAR on March 30. If these shows are deemed successful, future dates will be listed on Drivin' Sideways' website.

The format remains the same: Doors open at 6 p.m., with music starting around 6:30. Happy hour ends at 9 p.m. There is no cover charge, but donations are taken to pay the band.

Meanwhile, Live reopened over the weekend after a brief renovation period. And two other regular live-music dates displaced by the ownership change have found other homes.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.


Dr. I. Emsayin

Wed, Feb 22, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

We hope that LIVE will promote the Friday Happy Hour so that it continues as an ongoing tradition. Give it some time in the spring to get the crowd out in good weather.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Thank you, new owners, for giving the happy hours a chance to continue. It's now up to the community to demonstrate that these events (besides being a heckuva lot of fun) can be economically viable. I can't think of a better way to spend my entertainment dollar.

the artist

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:31 a.m.

Okay cats and kittens, get out there and shake your booty and pony up for some drinks! Tell your friends to get down there and support live music. Thanks to the folks at Live, the Last Word and the Alley Bar for giving us a place to get together, hear some music, see our friends, dance a bit, and then clear out for the night crew.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

We'll be there. Thanks to the new owners for understanding the importance of keeping the live music alive in Ann Arbor. It should be a win win situation for the happy hour crowd and owners alike.


Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

Great news! I'm glad to see this wonderful listening (and dancing) room has better management (and owners) now. The Friday Happy Hours are a wonderful way to see some of Ann Arbor's classic (and classy) acts and be in bed by a reasonable hour! Count me in!