Photos by Meg Johnson and Marissa DePino

Video by Gigi Toledo

Whether it’s a stand-up comedian, team trivia, or local artists entertaining the crowd, Des Moines Social Club’s Basement caters to all ages and interests. The hospitality director of basement venue Pete Bold picks the musicians and acts for the venue.

“Folks need to be entertained, and we look for the most unique sounds,” says Bold.

He has a long background in the music industry as a musician, and he grew up honing his skills under a long line of musicians in St. Louis.

“I was exposed to it,” says Bold. “It was like family.”

Bold finds a unique sound for every musical event at the Des Moines Social Club’s Basement. This dimly lit space fills with vibrant sounds that bring in veteran and new artists alike.

“This venue gives musicians that are new an opportunity to get their name out there,” says Bold.

Some of Bold’s favorite performances are on the third Thursday of every month, with James Biehn and Friends. Biehn is a Des Moines-based musician as well as the owner and instructor of the Central Iowa Music Lab. Biehn performs with his son and friends on the stage and has a sign-up sheet for new artists. Any artist or band can show up and perform on the third Thursday without any registration.

Biehn performs at The Basement because of the vibrant sound system and the accommodating staff. Running his own business and spending time with his family means the minimal time commitment and flexible staff at this venue works best for him.

“We’ve found a home,” says Biehn, as he smiles and gets ready to perform on the stage.