Dance, dance, dance

Katy P and The Business celebrate Back-to-School Night at Taos Plaza Live


School supply lists and books, schedule juggling and new shoes or maybe a haircut. The dog days of summer are here and to transition you “Back To School,” the Taos Chamber of Commerce and local business are hosting the Taos Plaza Live concert today (Aug. 2).

Although the local band, School of Rock, was scheduled to open the show, there was a last minute cancellation, so the effervescent Katy P and The Business will get to play from 6-8 p.m.

Katy Palmier, the bandleader, said they are gearing up to “get everyone dancing in the streets.” The show is free, family-friendly and a great way to mingle with the community.

Local businesses will be setting up booths with back-to-school freebies, and a special commemorative T-shirt and tank top will be available for sale. The Taos News will also be giving away free copies of the Back-to-School issue too.

Today’s event is special, according to chamber of commerce director Susan Cady, because the town of Taos has agreed to close Taos Plaza South and East to allow room for sponsors, nonprofit organizations and chamber of commerce members. Sponsor tables will be set up around the plaza with giveaways and fun activities planned.

Taos Plaza Live was born 18 years ago. It started with a handful of local, community-minded businesses sponsoring and producing it. A few years later the Taos County Chamber of Commerce took over as producers, partnering with local businesses to make it happen.

Cady said the business community in Taos has stepped up to the plate with donations and personal time and attention for every show.

Cady added a stringent application process is in place for bands to play at Taos Plaza Live. She said, “50-60 bands apply every year with contracts to play being offered to only 20 bands. There is a committee that meets and decides from the applications based on genre and popularity. Only the ‘cream of the crop’ ultimately make the cut for Taos Plaza Live Shows.”

Cady said the bands who sign up are generous with their time and charge a much reduced “community rate” because this is a rare and wonderful opportunity to serve the community and be a part of “the heart of what we have to give to the community of Taos.” Cady said she attends every concert herself because there is a “sense of community and pride we have all gathered there. It is amazing. Every stripe of Taos is at Taos Plaza Live.”

Palmier said she remembers her first performance on the Plaza a few years ago with her first band, The Monkey Feeders. “I was probably excited and nervous and wanting to … put on a good show.”

She loves Taos Plaza Live shows because “everyone comes out and dances, and it starts early, so a lot more people can make it.” Palmier said those who attend the back to school show should “just come out, have fun” before you have to go back to what Palmier remembers from her student days as “jail” (school).

Katy P and The Business is known around town as one of Taos’ favorite cover bands. They play funk soul and rock-and-roll and are famous for inspiring even the most reluctant in the audience to get up and dance. For more about the band, visit Katy P and The Business on Facebook.

This year Domino’s Pizza is also providing 700 slices of pizza, one slice per customer, and the chamber will be providing cold bottled water. Other food options include Taos Plaza Live veteran, the “hot dog lady,” Symone Arguello-Dada, who’ll be offering her usual fare of delicious hot dogs, with a side of salty chips.