Live music at the University of New Hampshire

Ian Lenahan

Rico Brea is former UNH student who wants there to be more live music regularly available in the Strafford County area of New Hampshire; especially near UNH and his hometown, Portsmouth, NH.
There are but two concerts a year for students, and most of the time it is rappers or an electronic dance music DJ. Brea plans to change that with “The Emporium.”
Brea was hosting live music at events regularly at his home in the past under the group name “The Emporium.” He would have bands play in his basement and charge $5 per person to pay for the band’s time. After seeing increasing success, he is deciding to look for venues to get live music to the public.
Now, his goal is to bring live music into Durham more regularly. The first two shows, held 2/23/18 and 3/23/18 left everyone wanting more.
“Our first show was such a success the manager of Libby’s encouraged me to schedule another show. I was stoked,” says Brea. “We had band’s like Sal & Friends come perform, and it was a great time. There was so many people, which is what keeps me motivated to get ‘The Emporium’ out there,” says Brea.
“The second show was a little bit of a smaller turn out but most of the people were new faces which was exciting to see. I can’t wait to see what our third show has to offer,” Brea says.
Brea is now continuing his search for other venue’s; hopefully bigger so that more people are able to attend as increasing number of fans are showing up in support of “The Emporium.”
UNH graduate Brian Buckley is one of the many supporters.
“Honestly I still don’t know exactly what [The Emporium] is, but as long as I’m still around the area, I’ll be at every one of those shows,” says Buckley. “I used to go to the house parties at [Brea’s] place, but it was always cramped and hot. I’m thankful he’s trying to doing it at actual bars so everything is better placed out and a bunch of people can enjoy it,” says Buckley.
“I love live music and I just want everyone else to feel the same way as I do. The Emporium was something that I came up with as a way to get high-quality live music and bands back where it was during our parents’ time. It’s better for everyone that were doing it at venues, it’s way more fun and way better of a turn out,” says Brea.
Donna McCarron, mother of UNH graduate Danielle McCarron comments on what the Emporium is offering to the UNH area.
“I think it’s great for students to have a venue to go to where they can safely enjoy music instead of partying on the streets,” McCarron said. “It helps keep the streets of Durham safer for children to be around while also encouraging live music, so I am ok with it.”
“You’ll never see me in one of those places. I’m too old for that,” she said jokingly. “I’ll still support it though!”