Local Business Looks to Expand Entertainment Scene Downtown

 Bodie’s, located at 126 West Pine St, has featured live music, open mic nights, karaoke and a comedy show in the month of April alone. Jake Reinke, who hosts open mic nights at Bodie’s every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. believes the open mic nights are a unique opportunity for people to both have fun, and express themselves seriously. 

  “I’m just trying to build a community to bring musicians together,” said Reinke. “Warrensburg surprisingly has a lot of musicians, they just don’t network, or they don’t realize the potential that they have.” 

  For years, the Warrensburg local business Bodie’s, provided University of Central Missouri students and Warrensburg residents with a place to catch local and touring acts. Founded in 1976, the local hangout came to be known as a great place to enjoy live music in downtown Warrensburg. Bands such as The Nace Brothers Band, Mister Smith, Rampage and Cheap Trick performed at Bodie’s over the years, and now, Bodie’s is making an effort to bring that energy back.

  Aside from offering casual music fans a place to sing their favorite songs or tell some jokes they find funny, Reinke says Bodie’s open mic nights have also helped smaller groups get their start. He says, bands such as Fresh of Breath Air and The Short Circuits, previously known as Rowdy Boys, got their start at Bodie’s open mic nights. 

  Made up entirely of University of Central Missouri students, The Short Circuits have played at Bodie’s and other local venues a number of times, incorporating covers of all types, from Beastie Boys to Doja Cat, as well as original songs into their set. 

  “I feel like live music is the best thing you can do to rejuvenate night life for a town, especially a small town like Warrensburg,” said The Short Circuits’ drummer, Connor Sloan. 

 The Short Circuits also shared that they plan on releasing their debut album soon. While the band didn’t provide a release date or title for the record, it still goes to show the impact that Bodie’s has had on both the Warrensburg and UCM community. The Short Circuits will be playing at Bodie’s again on May 5.

  Bodie’s also hosted a comedy night on April 15. Although a departure from the thumping live music that Bodie’s usually has on the weekends, Reinke believes the show provided a sense of variety for interested individuals. 

  “It’s very exciting to come to a college town and give kids something to do,” said Cameron “Copenhagen Bandit” Summers. “I went to college for medical school and I hated sitting in a dorm room so if I can go hear somebody tell jokes, I feel like it would be fun.”

  According to Sean Chamberlain, a big part of what is making live music downtown popular in Warrensburg is the effort that the local performers are putting in to push the scene forward.

  “I just feel like the creative exploration is the biggest and most vital part about it,” said Chamberlain, an audio technician at Bodie’s. “You have all these people in college at the prime point in their life where their creativity is spawning, so we really want to bring back, to this bar, the local hometown music group scene that used to exist down here on Pine Street. If you talk to people who’ve been down here throughout all those eras this is a very thriving music community and a very thriving art scene.”