After local music-booking company MP Presents (sometimes known as MP Shows) parted ways with Township in Logan Square late last year it soon after started putting on a multitude of punk shows at Fizz Bar & Grill in Lakeview. That is, until recently: last week MP Presents moved many of its shows from Fizz to 1st Ward, the venue attached to Chop Shop, a combination restaurant, butcher shop, and bar on North Avenue near the heart of Wicker Park.
Fizz Bar owner Dan Bar gave me a pretty cut-and-dry explanation about why his watering hole’s concert calendar went bare. “We’re no longer using MP Shows for our booking,” Bar says. “Conflict of interest.” What does that mean? “We’re just no longer using MP Shows,” Bar says.
MP Presents honcho Brian Peterson gave me more insight over e-mail: “They lost their PPA license and we can’t do free shows, pretty cut and dry.” As a result MP Presents is booking some concerts at 1st Ward while maintaining a concert calendar at a handful of other venues in town.
Peterson’s got a new home at Chop Shop and 1st Ward, which recently hired him as a full-time bar and restaurant manager for Chop Shop and talent buyer for 1st Ward. “[It’s my] first actual job in over 20 years,” Peterson says. “MP will continue to do what it does, looking for smaller rooms to book constantly and helping with some of the promotions/marketing at 1st Ward on shows that are a good fit.” The next MP Presents show at 1st Ward is Wednesday, with Nervous Passenger, Brickfight, Ratboys, and Spraynard; head to Soundboard for my write-up of headliners Spraynard.