Evergreen was founded in October of 2010 by Isaac Young and Brendan Demet, who shaped their guitar playing for six years before forming Evergreen with Ed Kosmatka. They quickly began frequenting Milwaukee venues such as The Miramar Theatre, where they earned a reputation for their concerts, with unique set lists each night featuring original compositions and a few classic covers, sewn together with boundless improvisation.
In 2011, Evergreen played over 20 concerts in Milwaukee at Summerfest, headlining Bastille Days, Summer Soulstice, The Miramar Theatre, Crisp Pizza Bar and Fire on Water, among others. The band is hastily becoming an integral part of the Milwaukee jam scene, playing with regional acts including Undercover Organism, Recalcitrant, Soup, Strange Arrangement and Mr. Blotto.
Evergreen continues to grow in popularity, continuing to play Milwaukee venues, and expanding into more festivals, like Ifdakamp and the Grateful Garcia Gathering in the Summer of 2012.
Isaac Young - Vocals, Guitar
Brendan Demet - Vocals, Guitar
Ed Kosmatka - Drums
Andy Goitia - Vocals, Bass
"Evergreen" - studio album to be released June 14, 2012.
Live recordings, available on Bandcamp:
05/29/2012 - Reggie's - Chicago, IL
05/06/2012 - Crisp - Milwaukee, WI
05/05/2012 - Conway's - Milwaukee, WI
03/31/2012 - The Miramar Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
03/10/2012 - The Miramar Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
02/24/2012 - Fire on Water - Milwaukee, WI
02/24/2012 - Bradley Center - Milwaukee, WI
02/19/2012 - Crisp - Milwaukee, WI
12/18/2011 - Crisp - Milwaukee, WI
12/16/2011 - Conway's - Milwaukee, WI
12/04/2011 - Crisp - Milwaukee, WI
12/03/2011 - Fire on Water - Milwaukee, WI
11/17/2011 - The Miramar Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
Live at Paddy's Pub
05/12/2011 - The Miramar Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
12/10/2010 - The Miramar Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
High School Jam Band Rocks Summerfest
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Not many high school musicians can say they played a gig with one of their idols, but four teenagers...Not many high school musicians can say they played a gig with one of their idols, but four teenagers in a local jam band did just that Thursday night.
Evergreen has played some pretty big gigs during their 10 months of existence — the Miramar Theater, an Admirals game and the Summer Soulstice festival on North Avenue. But Thursday afternoon, they played Milwaukee’s ultimate Big Gig, playing on the same day as one of their idols, funk legend George Clinton.
“It was Summerfest, so we were pretty hyped up for it,” said guitarist Brendan Demet. “We hadn’t played a show in 11 days, which is kind of a long time, so we were pretty excited. We thought it went really well.”
Their performance even included an ode to Parliament Funkadelic's “Give up the Funk." They then saw the band later that night.
The group played at the Refugee Stage Thursday and will play three more sets before the festival closes. They play the Tiki Hut stage at noon on Thursday, and again on Saturday at noon and 3:45 p.m.
Demet and singer/guitarist Isaac Young are both 17-year-olds from Whitefish Bay. The two played together in Second Thought, which played mainly rock covers, and after that group disbanded, they went on to form Evergreen, which has more of a bluesy jam band feel.
In addition to some impressive live shows, they also took third place in the Brass Bell Battle of the Bands.
“We started out with classic rock and that evolved into an interest in Phish and the Grateful Dead,” Young said. “(In the jam band genre) you can just improvise on the spot and create new sounds out of nowhere. It allows an artistic freedom and movement unlike any other genre, except maybe jazz.”
Evergreen was formed in October with drummer Ed Kosmatka, an 18-year-old from Brookfield. Since their beginning, they have already found new blood in their second bassist, Tyler Redmann, also of Brookfield, who Demet met through a church group.
Demet said something clicked as soon as they started to jam with each other.
“Tyler listens to a lot of funk music and plays slap bass, which is pretty exciting in a jam band,” he said.
That chemistry built on top of the existing framework Young and Demet have built together over the past six years.
Demet has been playing since he was 7, and Isaac since his late elementary school days. The two started playing together in sixth grade, so they are able to jam, trade solos and communicate better than the average 17-year-old duo.
The band has not recorded any original songs yet, but they have live recordings that are available at their shows and on their YouTube page. In addition to original songs, they also cover “Fire on the Mountain” by The Grateful Dead, “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles and “Limb by Limb” by Phish.
With Kosmatka and Redman recently graduating from high school, the band still plans to stick together. Kosmatka plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which is even closer to their practice space.
Looking forward, they said they will continue to hone their craft by playing as much as possible this summer, including Bastille Days on July 17. In the future, they hope to do a small Wisconsin tour.
“We play live more than any other band I know in the neighborhood,” Demet said. “We vary the set list every night because we don’t want any one show to be the same.”
And, as they say, practice makes perfect — especially in the jam world.
“We keep getting tighter the more we play together,” Young said.
Evergreen varies the set list each night. Material includes more than 20 original compositions, as well as a diverse mix of covers.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.