The Freret Street neighborhood has been booming this season. More than a handful of new restaurants and bars have opened on the short eight-block uptown strip in just the past few months alone. This weekend though marks the opening of the second venue on Freret Street to acquire the newly coveted New Orleans live music permit. Gasa Gasa hosts its grand opening night this Saturday, July 20 at 8 p.m. inside the former plumbing warehouse turned music and art house located at 4920 Freret St. featuring headliners the Honorable South.
With the increasingly more restrictive laws about live music performance in the city of late, obtaining a permit to host live music, especially after Midnight, has become somewhat of a coveted accomplishment. The “Four Mikes” (yes, all of Gasa Gasa’s owners are named some version of Mike) are now the second new business to open on Freret this year carrying such a permit along with a standard liquor license, the first is Publiq House just three blocks up the street.
Gasa Gasa (pronounced “Gahssa-Gahssa”), proprietors Micah Burns and Mike Twillmann tell us, is a Japanese term that means “doing too much at once.” After changing their venue’s name at least two or three times in the process of getting all their permits and licenses in order, they finally settled on Gasa Gasa – for their intimate and humble space is a whole lot of things, considering its maximum capacity is just over 200 people.
The unassuming cinder block building, recently painted turquoise, now houses a small but fully professional sound stage, an art gallery and a bar. Soon, the “Mikes” say, they will also open a coffee window and a pop-up retail boutique carrying collectible music, accessories and art. But for this weekend, the focus is on the music. Saturday night’s grand opening celebration will feature a live set by New Orleans’ rising soul-rock mavericks the Honorable South, as well as an opening groove from the duo RQaway and T-Ray the Violinist. In-house sound engineer Michael Seaman brags that guests will be blown away by the sound quality at Gasa Gasa.
The Honorable South made waves with last year’s single, “The Beast” and its official music video here. They have since rapidly made their way up the festival circuit ladder and are presently preparing their new release. Difficult to pigeonhole into just one music genre, four pieces easily blend rock, soul, punk and funk, while packing an energetic punch behind mistress of lead vocals, Ms. Charm Taylor.
Gasa Gasa will also be hosting a meet and greet with its owners and staff from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. where music fans, art buffs, neighbors and anyone curious is invited to stop in for a drink, check out the space and chat with the team. WTUL’s DJ RQaway and young violin protege T-Ray will provide the soundtrack for the meet and greet.
Saturday’s grand opening event is open to the public and free of charge. Doors are at 7 p.m. and early arrival is strongly suggested because Gasa Gasa is indeed an intimate, limited capacity venue. OffBeat hosted its July issue release party there on June 28 with the Brass-A-Holics and boy was it packed! Check out the photos and video from the party here.
GASA GASA Grand Opening featuring The Honorable South +sg
Date: Saturday, July 20
Time: 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Venue: GASA GASA
4920 Freret Street (map)
Neighborhood: Uptown / Freret
More Info: www.gasagasa.com