By Sean Bendon
In a dark room full of noisy college students, a band prepares to take the stage and perform in the first YAMS show of the semester. They are called Al Gorgeous, and like their band name states, they are all dressed gorgeously, bearing signs of college influence and peer acceptance.
The lead guitar player, Leo Plummer, is the organizer of the event and the co-founder of the YAMS syndicate. He is a 22-year-old music major at Humboldt State University and he’s making a growing impact in the local Arcata music scene.
Working with co-founder Jonny Woods, Plummer has been steadily organizing events under the YAMS name for around six month, starting in early 2016. He wanted to bring the local scene closer and find a way to support live music through the many venues Arcata has to offer.
In the beginning Plummer and Woods gained strife for having a cover charge.
“We’ve always charged covers for our shows and at first people had really adverse reactions to paying for shows,” Plummer stated.
However, now that the shows have gained a steady following, the reaction to the cover charge is shifting to a more positive one.
HSU student Jacob Partida, 19, was happy to see the YAMS show at Blondies.
“A lot of good things are coming out of it,” Partida commented. “ It’s good to see people working hard to make good things.
The YAMS syndicate has actually held seven shows in the last four and a half months, shifting locations between Blondies and local Eureka bars like the Siren Song. Each event holds a wide variety of artists, but are sometimes 21+, which lead to smaller crowds.
The main goal of YAMS is to help promote and support local music by charging a suggested donation of five dollars. While it is not much to ask, any donation goes directly to the artist and helping these YAMS shows continue.
The show was packed to the door. Many faces were familiar and the atmosphere was buzzing lightly. The first few weeks of the new semester had passed and everyone was more comfortable.
Naoki Omatsu, a 21-year-old art studio student, found his way to the show through the YAMS Facebook page.
“I heard about the show through Facebook and word of mouth,” Omatsu added.
The YAMS Facebook is the main way to find out information on the group.