Archive for November, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

THANK YOU to All Who Attended or Made the ONSLRG Benefit Concert Possible

Thank you to the hundreds of individuals who attended the benefit concert for Old North St. Louis Restoration Group this past Saturday or supported the event in other ways.

We especially want to thank the bands for performing for us:

Last to Show First to Go (in the photo below)

…including Old North resident Phil Valko (shown below)

…and, all the way from Athens, Georgia, Five Eight (shown below)

We also need to acknowledge that none of this would have come about had it not been for the initiative and tireless efforts of ONSLRG Board Member Doug Rasmussen (in the knit cap below):

Thanks also to ONSLRG’s staff, including interns, who handled a lot of the event prep, from recruiting raffle prizes to promoting ticket sales all the way through to staffing the merchandise table and clean up after the event.

ONSLRG staff and interns at the event included Sean Thomas, Eric Bablinskas, Claire Wolff, Alex Durdello, and Matt Fernandez. Not pictured but also present was Chris Umbertino.

ONSLRG staff & interns working the event included Sean Thomas, Eric Bablinskas, Claire Wolff, Alex Durdello, & Matt Fernandez. Not pictured but also present was Chris Umbertino (who deserves a huge thank you for such a great job with the raffle!).

Thank you also to Chris Bay and KDHX for tremendous assistance with the planning and coordination of logistics and arranging the venue, and so much more.  (Chris really was there at the event, but we neglected to capture a photo of him.)  Speaking of the venue, thank you to Plush St. Louis for really cool space for the event and for handling all of the ticket sales.

A key piece of the advance promotions involved professionally designed flyers and posters, thanks to the creative talent of ONSLRG Board Member Bryan Reckamp.

In addition to all named above, we also received additional support from Schlafly Beer, Chase Park Plaza, and the following raffle prize donors:  the Fountain on Locust, St. Louis Cinemas, Lodge of the Four Seasons, Morgan Ford Massage & Spa, Ameristar Casino, and anonymous others who donated St. Louis Blues tickets and a Toshiba laptop and HP printer.

Congratulations to the following winners of raffle prizes:

  • Julie Cole
  • Jill Delston
  • Leslie Duling
  • Betsy Havens
  • Julie Lawson
  • Linda Quinn
  • Colleen Thomas

We also are incredibly grateful to all of you who came out to attend the event - a great crowd that included Old North residents, friends from other neighborhoods, community development partners, and staff from a variety of other organizations working with ONSLRG.

Proceeds from the concert ticket sales, raffle, and other contributions from individuals who could not attend all add up to help us cover a variety of the operating costs necessary for our comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization work.  Saturday’s event was a great help.  But we still have a ways to go to make up for some funds that we did not receive this year that had been committed at the time we prepared our budget for the year. If you could not attend the event but still want to support ONSLRG’s ongoing initiatives which are revitalizing the physical and social dimensions of Old North, please click HERE or on the image below to make a secure, online contribution right now.

Thank you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Message to St. Louis from Patrick Ferguson of Five Eight

As we continue spreading the word about Saturday night’s benefit concert (and you still can buy your tickets online by clicking HERE), we want to pass along a message we got from Five Eight’s drummer, Patrick Ferguson:


Hello, St Louis-

As I write this, Five Eight is loading the van to leave Athens and come to your fair city. It is not our first time there, as we played Cicero’s several times back in the ’90s and we played Washington U with Bunnygrunt and some other fantastic St. Louis bands. Beatle Bob has rocked out to our music, we have dined on the famous Cicero’s Pizza (but with two New Yorkers in the band, there’s an argument waiting to happen there), and we have braved the terrifying load-out of the Cicero’s Steps (in the rain!). One of the handful of times I have seen Dan (our bassist) really shithoused was after two or three Guinesses and a shot or two at the bar when we played with Cher UK in Cicero’s Basement.

This is all to say that we’ve been doing this a long time. We’ve gotten a lot of very gracious press leading into this gig and we’re very grateful for that. However, much of it has focused on how long we’ve been playing and how we should’ve been a much “bigger” band, and blah blah blah. There’s something you should know: Five Eight is not a nostalgia act. We’re not bitter about not being bigger than Pearl Jam or even Cake or Tonic or some other ’90s also-ran bands and we’re not all misty-eyed about the Good Old Days.

We still write new music. We still practice as often as we can. We keep putting out records because we still have mountains to climb and bridges to cross (or burn). We’re still as hungry and driven as we ever were. Maybe MORE so, now. If you’re coming to see a bunch of wizened middle-aged guys take a little amble down memory lane and tell some chuckle-worthy stories about the time we met Beck, we may disappoint you. In some ways, Five Eight is like a tire fire- still burning, still smelling bad. If you want to come and see a band that writes music from our real lives and for whom this is a living, breathing, important part of our lives, well, bring it.

We hope to see you Saturday night. It’s going to be a big ol’ blast.


-Patrick Ferguson


Five Eight


As Patrick noted, we have, indeed, gotten some very good media coverage - and we especially want to thank KDHX and St. Louis Public Radio for reporting on and posting good info on the concert.  We also want to report that the Riverfront Times has deemed the Five Eight and Last to Show First to Go concert to be one of the “Ten Best Shows in St. Louis This Weekend.”

Friday, November 1, 2013

Counting down the hours… Join us Saturday for ONSLRG Benefit Concert with Five Eight and Last to Show First to Go

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, it’s not too late.  Tickets are still available online (click HERE) for Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s benefit concert at Plush (3224 Locust, 63103), featuring the legendary musical talents of Five Eight and Last to Show First to Go.  Although we strongly encourage advance ticket purchases, you should be able to buy tickets at the door Saturday night.

Also, if this is news to you, there’s a good chance you’re not subscribed to our eNewsletter, the latest edition of which just went out this morning.  Click HERE (or on the image below) to see the web version of that eNewsletter.

And if you’d like to subscribe to the eNewsletter so that you’ll receive future issues straight in your email inbox, click on the “Contact” button at the very top right portion of this page or click HERE to be taken to a page that offers a space along the right side of the page for you to enter your name and email address.

If you read through the eNewsletter, you’ll see that Maria Altman of St. Louis Public Radio is helping us spread the word about the benefit concert via an interview conducted by Maria Altman (and posted on the front page of their website) with Mike Mantione, lead singer of Five Eight, along with ONSLRG Board Member Doug Rasmussen and ONSLRG Executive Director Sean Thomas.  You can listen in on that interview by clicking HERE or or on the image below or by going to and clicking on the story.

Thank you to all who have helped make this concert happen, especially Doug Rasmussen for recruiting Five Eight to come all the way from Athens, Georgia, to perform for us, and for tirelessly working to get the word out about the big event.  Thanks also go to our intern, Chris Umbertino, for recruiting some great raffle prizes; to raffle prize contributors St. Louis Cinemas, the Fountain on Locust, Lodge of the Four Seasons, Morgan Ford Massage & Spa, KDHX, Five Eight, and more; to other generous supporters, Schlafly, the Chase Park Plaza, Vintage Vinyl, and Chris Bay.

See you Saturday night at Plush!


Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.


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