Sixteen-year-old Anna Martino almost can’t believe she will be playing at Durty Nellie’s, the suburban stage graced by rock stars like the Violent Femmes and Sublime with Rome.
A junior at Palatine High School, Anna is a guitarist with the teen band Collision, which will take part in the first “Future Stars” event Sunday at the downtown Palatine venue.
“It’s obviously such a huge music venue in this area, and so many artists have played there,” she said. “To play on the same stage is crazy — and we’re super excited.”
Future Stars is a family-friendly concert series open to musicians up to age 18 on the fourth Sunday of the month. Each edition will have an opening band, a main act and a “teaser” performance from the main act for the following month.
It’s all about showcasing the talent of young musicians who might become tomorrow’s sensations, said Durty Nellie’s co-owner Jimmy Dolezal.
“It’s exciting because we feel Durty Nellie’s is a major music venue,” he said,” and it’s an opportunity for these kids to get on stage where we’re kind of nurturing and supporting their future.”
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The main act Sunday will be The Voodoo Dolls, featuring Brooklyn Flaishaker and Jen Rooney, both guitarists/bassists/singers who go to Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, and drummer Margaret Brady of St. Francis High School in Wheaton.
The three met at School of Rock in Schaumburg and have been a band for about a year. “We kind of do all types of music: some indie pop, some more classic rock, ’90s, alternative. When we do longer sets, more acoustic, we do country,” Brooklyn said.
The Voodoo Dolls have played at places like Strike Ten Lanes & Lounge in Roselle, 4 Points Whiskey Saloon And Grill in Medinah, and Liquid Love Brewing in Buffalo Grove. Durty Nellie’s will be their largest venue yet, they said.
“(Future Stars) is a really good thing for teens, because it can give them an opportunity to play somewhere that’s local, with professional sound and light,” said Brooklyn, who performed at Durty Nellie’s once, years ago, with School of Rock.
Jen agreed. “I feel like not a lot of people see kids in bands that often anymore. I don’t know what it was like before, but I think this is a great opportunity.”
Collision will perform Sunday as a teaser for November. The band features lead singer Elise Martino, Anna’s younger sister and a Palatine High student, along with guitarist Reid Isbell of Prospect High School, drummer Connor Moga of Hersey High School and bassist Lucy Thomas of South Middle School.
“We play a lot of older rock music, mostly ’90s stuff, and we throw in some ’80s and ’70s,” Anna said. “We call it a collision of the decades.”
The band members met at El Ray Music Center in Arlington Heights. The band formed just 2½ months ago and has performed at Arlington Heights’ Harmony Fest and at the Moose Lodge in Mount Prospect.
The idea for Future Stars came from a conversation between Melanie Santostefano of Vicarious Multimedia, a marketing communications company whose clients include Durty Nellie’s, and Jason Stallard of Love Local OFF 53, a social media brand that spotlights local businesses and nonprofits via video and podcast.
Stallard, a relative of Brooklyn’s, inquired with Santostefano if there might be a chance for the band to take the stage, and the idea grew from there, Santostefano said. “Now it’s become this opportunity for promoting young talent and creating a perfect venue if they want to grow their craft,” she said.
This is not the first time that Durty Nellie’s has welcomed young musicians, Dolezal said. Underage open mic sessions in the late 80s to mid-90s helped shape the beginning of the venue’s identity as a music destination.
Dolezal said he hopes that Future Stars will bring an infusion of energy.
“They are young and they are very talented. It’s kind of inspiring to see how good everyone in these bands really is.”