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Know before you go: Varsity to visit Cafe Berlin

The band will be joined by Tina Sparkle and local group Ray Wild.

By Cassie Allen | Aug. 23, 2016


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This week’s music scene is pretty exciting. All alternative, rock, 70s, soft rock, concert-loving fans should check out Cafe Berlin for their first week back on campus.

The lowdown

Saturday, Aug. 27: Cafe Berlin, one of many music venues in Columbia, is hosting three artists perfect for any alternative rock fans. The headliner, Varsity, released a new cassette (yes, cassette) with two of their newest singles, which you can buy for any price on their Bandcamp website. Yes, you just choose your own price. Anyone interested in getting to know the band can stream their newest songs to get a feel for the vibe of the whole show, but it is not necessary to have a great time.

Tickets are $7. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is set to end around 1 a.m., which is good for those who want to get up before noon Sunday and anyone who decides that staying out at 1:30 a.m. sounds like a great idea.

Cafe Berlin, while open for breakfast and lunch during the day, provides an eclectic concert venue at night that is perfect for the vibe of these artists.

The bands

An Illinois band named Tina Sparkle, and Ray Wild, a popular band from right here in Columbia, are both performing alongside Varsity. Ray Wild is well-known among students on campus, so check the Bandcamp website to listen to the albums before the show.

Even without listening beforehand, you’ll have an easy time enjoying the show, especially if you bring your friends. Make sure to carpool, and bring money for cocktails during the show if you’re living the 21+ life.


First-timers should be aware that the parking garage on Cherry Street is a good place to park, no matter what venue you decide to visit while you are in Columbia. It provides a shortish walk to The Blue Note, Cafe Berlin and Rose Music Hall, if you happen to attend a show that is sure to be a packed house.

Noteworthy tunes

“Still Apart” by Varsity This song embodies indie rock so well, with sweet-sounding vocals. I seriously love the drumming in the song. Any song on the newest cassette is a great listen, but this one is on repeat.

“You and Your Mess” by Tina Sparkle With perfectly punk lyrics and a grunge sound, Tina Sparkle rocks this song. It’s my favorite song off their most recent album. Seriously. So good.

“Good Fortune” by Ray Wild The namesake of their 2015 album, “Good Fortune” is a cool classic rock song with a nice instrumental intro and vocals that totally remind me of Jimi Hendrix.

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