Ames Winter Classic 6 kicks off second semester at M-Shop Friday

Gloom Balloon, consisting of Ames’ Patrick Fleming and Christopher Ford, will headline the M-Shop’s Winter Classic Vol. 6.

Jill O'Brien

After the first Maximum Ames music festival, Nate Logsdon already had plans for another kind of local show on the Iowa State campus.

The Ames Winter Classic is known for kicking off the new year with another celebration of the local music scene and for being one big dance party in the Maintenance Shop.

“There are so many events in the spring, summer and fall,” Logsdon said. “It’s good to have one bigger show in the wintertime.”

This year’s show will feature Ames’ Gloom Balloon, hardcore hip-hop group EBONY TUSKS, psychedelic shoegaze band Cubits, and singer/songwriter Mumbi Kasumba.

This year’s lineup will bring something new from a few artists, with Gloom Balloon playing its first show of the year and Cubits playing every song on its new album. But it’s the constant cycle of new and old fans that brings fresh energy to the show each year.

“It’s good to have a college town music scene,” Patrick Tape Fleming of Gloom Balloon said. “There’s a whole new crop of musicians and fans, the audience is changing every semester, so there’s always a new aspect.”

While the ties to Ames and its music scene are continually strengthened by the tradition of the Winter Classic, the ties to playing at the Maintenance Shop, the longest running all-ages venue in Ames, are just as strong. Most of the artists have played at the M-Shop before in some capacity and are excited to return for another show.

“Doing a show at the M-Shop is a real treat,” Logsdon said. “It’s a great place to play a show. It’s on campus, it’s all ages, everything about the M-Shop is desirable.”

In addition to a long-standing history with the M-Shop, a history of playing shows in Iowa is another common thread among those on this year’s lineup.

“There are lots of memories with coming to Iowa,” said EBONY TUSKS’s Marty Hillard, who has played at venues like the Ames Progressive and the M-Shop with his old band, Cowboy Indian Bear. “It’s a really great state for music communities — that runs deep in these cities.”

From Daytrotter sessions to shows in Des Moines to playing at Maximum Ames, the artists on the lineup hold the Iowa scene, specifically the Ames scene, in high regard.

“Ames just has an energy to it,” Nicholas Naioti of Cubits said. “Everyone really cares about music there.”

The sixth annual Ames Winter Classic will be another night of celebrating local artists and celebrating the positivity they foster within the community.

“It’s OK to be vulnerable and express yourself to people,” Mumbi Kasumba said in reference to her own music. “We aren’t that much different from one another.”