What: Na'an Stop
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399
More info: foxtheatre.com
When having fun becomes your job, well, that's sort of the musician's dream.
Maybe the guys of Na'an Stop can't make being in a band their full-time work right now, but playing their mix of reggae, rock and ska has evolved from something they do in a dorm room to something they do for hundreds of fans at the Fox Theatre.
Caton Smith, Tom (Bo Bandy) Huber, Joe Pesa and Dave Halvorson met as University of Colorado-Boulder students. Smith, Huber and Pesa started jamming together during their freshman year. By the time sophomore year rolled around, they'd invited Halvorson, who was freestyle rapping, to join them. They later asked Halvorson if he would start playing trumpet again, played some house parties, and in February 2011, Na'an Stop was complete with the addition of Patrick Mulholland on trombone.
"It wasn't serious, we were just having fun with it," Halvorson said. "We played our first gig at The Goose on reggae night. We started playing at The Goose and that was when we found out we actually did it and it was for real."
From there, Na'an Stop started booking gigs around Boulder, at bars like K's China and the Lazy Dog. Then they were opening for bands like John Brown's Body at Cervantes Other Side, and then it was the big stage at the Fox, opening for fellow CU alum band West Water Outlaws.
The number of tickets they were able to sell opening for West Water Outlaws and another show with Mr. Anonymous proved their worth to the Fox. Now, they've landed their own headlining spot on Wednesday.
"Some bands take off much quicker. We all just like to play music -- we're not, like, musicians first. It was just something we liked to do, and we learned a lot over the last two years," Halvorson said. "Lately, it's starting to pick up, for sure. We're really stoked about this one at the Fox, it's a big one for us. This is our home turf. We practice on the Hill and everything."
Na'an Stop also just finished recording its first EP, It's All In The Cheese. The guys plan on dropping a single Friday and releasing the full five-tracks in mid-February.
"The five songs we chose we thought are a solid representation of our sound. There's a couple more classic reggae feel songs and a couple progressive reggae-pop," Halvorson said. "It's our first time in the recording studio and it was interesting to learn what you can do with the sound that's different from playing live."
Keep an eye out for the single today and get a taste of the studio sound, then check them out live at the Fox this coming Wednesday.