Sunrunners, a local band from the Mission District, will be headlining the Elbo Room at 647 Valencia St. for one of the venue’s very last shows this Friday. The venue, which is set to close in early November, will soon be home to market rate condos built by the owners and meant for their retirement.
However, according to Sunrunner’s frontman, lead singer and keyboardist, Stephen Loase, one of the venue’s co-owners, Matt Shapiro, has been scouting other San Francisco locations to host the historic music venue.
“It’s sad, definitely,” said Loase. “Some of our best turn-outs have been at the Elbo Room.”
The Mission has always been an inspiration for Sunrunners, said Loase, who lives on 19th and Hampshire Street. According to Loase, the band’s next album, set to be released within the next six months, is influenced by various experiences from living in the district.
“There’s a certain vibe of the Mission that is extremely indie,” said Loase.
When Loase moved to San Francisco from San Diego in 2009 after his previous band broke up, he didn’t exactly know where the music scene was. He soon found the niche in the Mission and things began to fall into place, ultimately leading to the creation of Sunrunners.
The band consists of five full-time players, guitarist Jordan Meyer, drummer Mark Colwell, keyboard and guitarist Andy Francis, bassist Paul Chalker, and Loase.
“We are definitely based on our influences,” said Loase, who is a classically-trained piano player. Some of those influences are bigger artists like Kings of Leon and Radiohead, to genres like alternative rock and synth-pop, combined with a laid-back San Francisco style.
Back when Loase was living in Southern California and performing with his previous band, he said that the local music scene was not nearly as welcoming as the Bay Area.
“It’s interesting, compared to Los Angeles, it’s much better,” said Loase. “Because in LA, I had to pay to play shows.”
According to Loase, that is not the case here. Sunrunners have played multiple venues in the city, including Brick and Mortar, The Rickshaw Stop, Slim’s and Great American Music Hall, garnering them a loyal audience and the attention of the alternative radio station, LIVE 105.
The Sunrunners have promoted others with their audience.
“They’re the next big thing,” said Loase about San Jose natives A Yawn Worth Yelling. “They just have a very solid indie rock sound.”
“We’ve been trying to play shows with Sunrunners for a long time because we had been social media buddies with them for so long,” said Taylor Stover, the drummer for A Yawn Worth Yelling. “It’s pretty cool that it finally worked out.”
For Vela Eyes, a band also out of San Francisco, fronted by Julia Johari and Florie Maschmeyer, this isn’t their first time playing at the Elbo Room.
“We are very sad that it will likely be our last show there. We had our first EP release there almost exactly two years ago and we’re really fond of the place,” said Johari. “They are very pro artist and treat bands well.”
The show is set for Friday, July 17, at 9 p.m. and will feature Sunrunner’s former bassist, Forest Bohrer, who is flying down from Seattle, in place of their current bassist who will be out of town.
“We didn’t want to give up our last time playing at the Elbo Room,” said Loase.
RSVP to the event here.