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With masks and social distancing required, Hangar 9 restarts live music this weekend

With masks and social distancing required, Hangar 9 restarts live music this weekend

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For live music aficionados in Southern Illinois, shows are beginning to pop up at local bars, restaurants and wineries with COVID restrictions still in place for the safety of the community. This Saturday, Jan. 30 at Hangar 9 in Carbondale, Mandy Jo and Bongo Pablo will take the stage. Dark Comet opens.

There is no cover charge for the show, but with capacity limited to 25% Hangar 9 encourages guests to arrive early to ensure a seat. Masks are required at all times while patrons are inside the bar, unless seated at a table or actively consuming a beverage.

Dark Comet will opens with bluesy psychedelic rock, playing from 9 to 9:45 p.m. Almost an hour of swirling soundscapes and groovy instrumentals will create a lively kickoff to the evening.

From 10 p.m. to midnight, the six-piece band with Mandy Jo on lead vocals and Bongo Pablo on guitar and vocals will take the stage. The band includes Mike Curtis on drums, Tom Novaro on piano, Samuel Smith on saxophone and percussion, and Mark Strawn on bass. The sextet will play a mix of original music by Mandy Jo and Bongo Pablo along with covers to please everyone in attendance.

Mandy Jo has a strong background in blues and soul and is well known among her friends and the Carbondale music scene as a talented singer and songwriter, frequenting open mic nights and music festivals often before COVID shutdowns halted live performances in the area.

After going through a divorce, Mandy found a renewed sense of therapeutic healing in her music and wrote several pieces that she enjoys performing to continue to work through the heartbreak of moving on in life.

“When we share space and sing songs with our friends, we create an atmosphere that is unlike any other,” Mandy says.

Mandy Jo met Bongo Pablo, also known as Peter Julian, during a local performance last year and the two formed a meaningful friendship. Julian remains a supportive manager for Mandy Jo in her quest to share her talents, she says.

With plenty of space to practice safe social distancing while taking in a live concert, Hangar 9 is ready to provide an evening of entertainment after many months of shutdowns.

“The live music experience is unlike any other and I know everybody is really looking forward to being able to have it again,” Mandy Jo says.

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