Zach Bair is a longtime musician, an audio technology pioneer and the owner of the Rockhouse Live music and performance venues. Tonight, Rockhouse Live at Raleigh Lagrange hosts the first-ever FirstFriday All-Star Comedy Showcase, featuring acts from the Memphis Comedy Festival. Zach sat down with MIF to talk about venues, sound, Memphis and comedy.
MIF: Zach, thanks for talking to us. Are you a big standup fan? What got you into the idea of hosting comedy shows at the RockHouse locations?
I love stand up. Been into comedy since way back in the day, you know, with guys like George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, the original SNL cast, etc. I lived in Dallas for a long time and used to make regular visits to the Improv. I’ve actually been wanting to do comedy for a while at RHL because we are really more about a full range of entertainment despite the name. So I’m super excited that we got it going!
MIF: When you go into booking, especially with regard to local shows or talent, what do you look for as a venue owner?
Generally speaking I book acts that will put butts in seats, haha. But also I book acts that show great promise, as I’m a huge artist supporter – whether that is comedy, music or whatever.
MIF: How did this all-star show come together?
I’ve been so impressed with the local independent comedy scene, and after we started doing the open mic comedy event at RHL Midtown it occurred to me that there was a very big scene of talent to pull from. So I floated the idea of a monthly showcase featuring the best in mid-south comedy talent. And as they say the rest is history – our first one goes up tonight!
MIF: You just added some new menu items at this location, can you tell us about those?
You bet. We added about six amazing gourmet burgers, including the southwest inspired Devil Burger, our Blues Burger which features our own blue cheese blend topping, and our Chipotle burger that comes with our home made chipotle mayo and some tasty green chilies on top. We are known for our Legendary RockHouse burger that has been served around the world.
MIF: Finally, what can people expect to see tonight – what’s the biggest reason for them to come out?
Comedy! Comedy! And more great comedy and entertainment! We have been able to get some of the area’s best talent to appear on one of the best stages in town, and folks can come in and relax in our super comfortable and cozy environment, and enjoy all the time prices such as $3 fireballs, $3 well drinks and much more. We look forward to making RHL your Memphis comedy destination!
First Friday All-Star Comedy Showcase is tonight at 9:30 pm at RockHouse Live Raleigh LaGrange (5709 Raleigh Lagrange), tickets at rockhouselive.com are $8, or $10 cash at the door.