Kiss The Sky has always promoted local music … both, in a Live and Recorded format.
In addition to carrying and promoting the music of local bands we have staged live shows on a regular basis upon a permanent performance stage located prominently at the back end of the store (excepting for the Geneva location due to space restrictions).
The current space is situated inside of a an old limestone factory building in the historic downtown section of Batavia through which the Fox River knifes its way south onward towards Aurora and beyond. We share this building with our good friends Water Street Studios and actually have a common wall containing a door that we can open from time to time so that folks can wander and explore both of our spaces. The “Are You Experienced? Stage” butts up against that common wall at the south end of our space.
Over the years, Kiss The Sky has been one of the few spots in the Fox River Valley area of Illinois in which aspiring young bands could perform while cutting their teeth in front of adoring fans of all ages and from all walks of life. Some notable groups and individual artists have graced the stage at one time or another including Lucky Boys Confusion, 15 Minutes Late, Shaggy 2 Dope, The Dallas Motorcade, Heartsfield, The Ides of March, Howard & The White Boys, Dave Ramont, Noah Gabriel, Greg Boerner and The Vicious Kinids (not of Long Beach fame), just to name a few. Rumor has it via a former employee that an early incarnation of Fall Out Boy played here as well. Steve nor Mike remember that but Kiss The Sky’s “Jack Black” claims that they did!
For the past several years, the shows have been filmed before a live audience and some have been posted up on the Batavia Access Television station’s YouTube channel, while a lot of those shows are sitting in the vault, so to speak, waiting for some aspiring young videographer to work with Steve in editing and production of a “finished product”, so that they can be made available via the Kiss The Sky and Fox Valley Music Foundation’s YouTube channel as well.
Currently, Kiss The Sky has a couple of things going on regarding Live Music. First and foremost, there is a regular weekly show called Saturday Morning Cafe that takes place, as the name implies, every Saturday morning from 10:30am until noon. Those shows are free and the artists are paid a nominal fee to perform while having an opportunity to work on material and entertain an audience that is there for the show and to hang out at the local record store chatting it up with fellow music lovers and enjoying a cup of gourmet and freshly brewed coffee or tea, and munching on some cookies or snacks of Dee and Steve’s choosing. There’s plenty of room near the stage to sit and relax and enjoy the show and a lot of folks simply browse the store in search of that lost chord or the holy grail of vinyl since there is a sale on all used music while the Morning Cafe is taking place.
From time to time, a live after hours show is scheduled, frequently on the last Sunday of the month evening, in which the lights are turned down low, except on the stage, and a full on powered up band will perform. The space boasts an excellent and powerful PA System, courtesy of TeleJimSound Incorporated, and a basic but ample stage lighting system. These Live From Kiss The Sky shows typically carry a $5 cover charge with all of those proceeds going to the band or artist. And, for the most part, these shows involved something special that make them a little unique and attractive such as a Album Release or Tribute or acknowledgement of something special in the history of music at large.
If you are interested in performing at Kiss The Sky in the future, contact Steve via phone (630-406-0086) or email (email@example.com) to discuss the matter in detail.
In 2014, Steve and a group of Music Lovers who were brought together by Gina Moga, a friend and the person that ran the City of Aurora’s Downtown Alive program, including Blues on the Fox, formed a 501(c)(3) organization and named it the Fox Valley Music Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to promote, preserve and present music of the Fox River Valley region of Illinois and to provide Music Education to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
To this end, the Foundation collaborated with Water Street Studios in Batavia to create the Blues and Roots on Water Street festival that ran from 2016 through 2018. At the same time, the Foundation was endeavoring to find a “home” so that they could set up shop and really concentrate on effecting their mission. In late 2017, the Foundation entered into a Redevelopment Agreement with the City of Aurora to turn an old Woolworth Drug Store building into a performance and event space as well as housing the administrative activities of the Foundation.
After a year and a half of demolition and build-out, The Venue opened on June 1, 2019 with a sold out show featuring Toronzo Cannon, The Grateful String Band, Nicole Amine and Aurora born and bred Noah Gabriel. As of this writing (July 2019), the following artists have either performed, or are scheduled to perform, at The Venue: Beth Lee & The Breakups, The Chris Duarte Band, The Smiley Tillmon Band, Rebel Soul Revival, The Steepwater Band, Wayne Baker Brooks, Jonas Friddle, Kevin Presbrey, Trio backed by the Flying Nowakowski Brothers with Scott Tipping, Killer Queen, Matt Keen, Dave Ramont, Aaron Kelly, A Sure Thang, Nick Schnebelen, The Accidentals, Lisa G & The Lucky Ones, Jim Green, Joe Robinson, and Dave Specter just to get you through June and July.
The Venue is scheduling performances on Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer of 2019. In the fall, plans are to expand scheduling to include Sundays and the occasional Thursday and adding a possible Saturday or Sunday afternoon element to the live music programming. As has been the case since inception, in addition to national and regional artists, The Venue is endeavoring to provide local artists with an opportunity to perform and to showcase their talents as well. The Fox River Valley area of Illinois is not only rich in music history, it is rich is musical talent as well. The Venue will certainly be a place to witness and enjoy those facts.
For more up-to-date information on The Venue and the Fox Valley Music Foundation, click on the links above or below to take you to their websites and visit and like their Facebook Pages as well.