For the last several months there has been news of something huge on the horizon. After much speculation and rumor, it was officially announced to the public that a 20,000 square foot music venue was going to be located in the old Kress building in the Vieux Marche in historic downtown Biloxi.
Above: KRESS LIVE at 814 Howard Ave. in Downtown Biloxi’s Vieux Marche district (location at the historic S.H. Kress Building) The evening of the V.I.P. show on July 3rd, 2014. KRESS LIVE officially opened the following day. Photo by Stephen Anderson
Remembered as one of the more popular stores in Biloxi, the early 1900’s Samuel H. Kress building was going to be put to good use again, but this time not as a five & dime store like before, but a first class destination for fans of live music.
The history of the Gulf Coast has seen its share of prominent music venues such as Gus Steven’s Supper Club or The Vapors, where Coastonians enjoyed countless local and touring bands. Since that time, the casino era has delivered plenty of nice theaters designed for attracting a host of entertainers. Adding to that, there are dozens of smaller venues up and down the Gulf Coast. The names are many, but one thing they have in common – Great Live Music! (see the soon to posted article: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Music Scene Takes Shape)
SO WHY IS “KRESS LIVE” NEEDED?
Left: Artist, friend and contributor to The Line”, Robby Amonett, doing what he is known for throughout the region; Right: The Line’s Head Photographer- Stephen Anderson taking some photos of members of the band, The Revivalists, at the Kress Live V.I.P. opening on July 3rd, 2014. (Photo by J. Cole/The Southland Music Line)
One answer could be, the publicity it has generated and secondly, the debut week showed positive signs of what’s to come, demonstrating that a larger non-casino venue is needed. The historic downtown Biloxi’s Vieux Marche, which has been in need of an economic shot in the arm for years, seems to be getting renewed interest from investors. The art community has been leading the way for some time and the upcoming arrival of the MGM Ball Park (if construction can be complete), just walking distance from Kress, all point to something positive taking place. Already new restaurants, night clubs and stores are popping up within a short distance of each other. Downtown Biloxi was one of those cities in the 1970’s that felt closing its main street to limited or pedestrian traffic only would be a good idea. Slowly businesses disappeared and the ones that remained courageously struggled to survive. The once thriving downtown, including much of Howard Avenue that I remembered as a young child, was no more. In recent years, it has become home to countless Law offices and non-retail locations. Excitedly, it seems the area is truly on an upswing and a feeling of genuine rebirth. KRESS LIVE can do much to assist this in happening.
Kress Live – the night before the official kickoff on July 4th. This V.I.P. opening allowed visitors and guests to get an early look at what is sure to become one of the area’s premier venues. (Photo by Stephen Anderson)
The entertaining July 4th weekend delivered in a spectacular way, bringing positive feedback to a place hoping to become one of The South’s leading music destination for bands, musicians and fans alike. KRESS LIVE officially kicked off on Friday, July 4th, but the night before it invited several guests to a VIP opening night celebration. “The Southland Music Line” appreciated being included and we are inspired by KRESS LIVE. As fans of great music, we are excited about upcoming shows and events to be held in the heart of our beloved Biloxi. (see their official website for a listing of some of the bands/musicians to be appearing in the near future.)
WHAT DOES KRESS LIVE OFFER?
We feel the savvy businessmen behind it are definitely on the right track. As soon as you walk through the front door you realize there is something special with unique features including a huge stage with a state of the art sound and lighting system. Something quite impressive is that there is not a bad view in the entire venue.
Kress Live has several bars and spacious accommodations designed with your comfort and enjoyment in mind. (Photo by Stephen Anderson)
KRESS LIVE is providing a V.I.P. Membership with a score of extras including total access to its luxurious lounge, The Relic Room, and several exclusive features that will be sure to make a night at Kress a fun one. As amazing as the lounge and V.I.P. extras are, more to the point, KRESS LIVE has something for everyone who wants to see a great live music event. As mentioned, the main floor in front of stage provides perfect viewing from any angle. The entire place seems determined to make its visitors welcome with much attention directed towards accommodations and comfort.
High above the crowds of KRESS LIVE are remarkable views of stage and fans. (Photo by The Southland Music Line)
Private Parties or Events? KRESS LIVE has given impeccable attention to providing ways to book private parties and events. “The Line” encourages you to check out the Kress Live website for list of things provided.
All these things mentioned will bring about something totally different than anything else around the area. It will certainly provide more of an edge in grabbing the interest of hot featured bands/musicians. KRESS LIVE provides an atmosphere fitting for success with similarities to venues in much larger cities.
The main floor has plenty of room for large crowds. The above photo was taken on The V.I.P. night before the official grand opening on Fri. July 4th, 2014. (Photo by Stephen Anderson)
There’s even more! According to reports from New Orleans’ Offbeat Magazine, it will double as the home to American Heritage Museum for Music and features a recording studio. In addition, KRESS believes in giving back to the community it so loves, this shown by setting up a foundation donating instruments to students and providing planned music academic programs.
So yes, when speaking of KRESS LIVE…
IT’S ABOUT THE MUSIC!
Members from The Revivalists performing at Kress Live. (Photo by Stephen Anderson)
Bands/Musicians will see an abundance of reasons to come perform on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We will be spreading the word to as many as possible.
The Southland Music Line fully supports the effort of KRESS LIVE and look forward to seeing many great shows there in the near future. Several shows are already booked and we encourage all of our readers to visit their websites and online information on upcoming shows and events. Without a doubt, we plan to bring as much attention to KRESS LIVE as we possibly can.
MORE PHOTOS OF KRESS LIVE
MORE PHOTOS OF KRESS LIVE
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
We want to thank the kind folks at KRESS LIVE and, in particular, Fred Salinas (Marketing Executive at Kress Live). He has been a good friend and has shown us much generosity. We are very thankful.
Assisting with editing on this article: Patsy Cheek (Texas Contributor) and Sandra Cole, NBCT, Med
© The Southland Music Line. 2014. All rights reserved