3rd Street Down
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3rd Street Down

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Rock R&B




"Nick Saathoff Brings High Energy to 3rd Street Down"

From the moment he was young, Nick Saathoff and his drums were a match made in heaven.

“I was very high energy in elementary school,” said Saathoff, a student at HCC. “I would always be tapping on the desk and teachers told my parents that maybe something should be done with all that energy.

All that energy would lead him to declare an associate in arts, particularly in music. In fact, Nick has been involved with music for at least 15 years. How did it get to this point for him? Look no further than his musical involvement in high school.

“I’ve been with school jazz bands and concert bands and I started doing pit orchestra for musicals in junior year,” he said. “That was actually right around the same time that I started with this group that I’m in now.”

The group is 3rd Street Down, formerly known as Sunday Afternoon. They are a local band that covers songs from pop hits to blues. Nick’s involvement started in the pit orchestra. Dimari Fennell, keyboardist for the group also played percussion in the same production during junior year. Fennell brought in group guitarist Austin Willis to see the show and meet Nick. While they both loved his playing, Nick’s role within the group was merely temporary.

“I was originally supposed to come in and fill in for one gig they had in June,” Saathoff recalls. “Somewhere between meeting them and that gig in June, someone just said ‘let’s just make him the drummer’.”

That lone gig proved it was meant to be all along as Saathoff has played in 3rd Street Down since 2016. During this period, the group repeatedly shook up their personnel.

“We’ve had lots and lots of lineup changes,” Saathoff said. “We’re finally in a lineup that everybody gets along, everybody pulls the same weight and we’re at a more stable place than we have been in a while.”

As the group stabilized, 3rd Street Down did all they could to expand their local presence. Saathoff played with the group at outdoor festivals such as Make Music Normal and the Sugar Creek Arts Festival. However, the group hungered for more opportunities.

“We started to get into different venues around town,” Saathoff said. “Around the end of January, we got our first chance to play at the Castle here in town, so that was pretty big for us.”

3rd Street Down (Nick Saathoff bottom right)
Nick recalled how a couple of group members had played the Castle before. Austin and Nick were the only members who had. The biggest takeaway from this experience is how they were performing as a band rather than as individuals.

“When you go in, they have their green room upstairs which is littered with artist signatures,” Saathoff said. “There are some names and you’re like, ‘that person played at the Castle?’, like Snoop Dogg’s signature is up there and all these bands that have come through.”

3rd Street Down was fortunate enough to put their signatures next to these various artists. While a moment like that would leave most people awe-struck, it didn’t seem to faze Saathoff much.

“Honestly…at least for me, you have to think of it as just another gig,” Saathoff explains. “You go out, you play, you gotta know each song…if it goes well, it goes well, but we were very happy with how it came out.”

The gig turned out so well that 3rd Street Down was willing to expand their presence even further. In 2018, they released a four-song extended play headlined by their single, “Girl Like You”. The extended play can be found on all major platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. Nick hopes the platform expansion is just the beginning of realizing their full potential.

“My goal…is to help make them grow even more,” Saathoff said. “Last year, we played all over town and this year, our goal is to go all around the state…Chicago right now for us is the one place that I think we should be going and we’re really trying to get our foot in the door.”

Nick hopes his band shares his vision of growing outward. Most importantly though, he plans on having a long-term future with them.

“It’s very unrealistic I know, you have no idea how many times I’ve heard that,” Saathoff chuckles. “That is what I’m trying to do right now and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.”

3rd Street Down can be found on Facebook @3rd Street Down and on Instagram @3rdstreetdown. - The Spectator


That Girl (Dangerous)
Dance (feat. V8 Vast Change)
Girl Like You
Looking For a  Friend
Need You



3rd Street Down is the latest project from singer/songwriter/guitarist Austin Willis. The music features a bolder, more bombastic rock-style with an underlayer of modern R&B as showcased by debut singles Nicotine and Dangerous. Support includes a driving 3-piece rhythm section featuring Kendall Johnson (Drums), Logan Berg (Bass) and Jake Denny (Guitar). Additionally, you'll hear DiMari Fennell laying down tasteful keyboards and Jacob Labertew on saxophone.  From covers to original offerings, 3rd Street Down exudes a level of experience and professionalism that belies their age and an exuberant and commanding stage presence. 
Crafting the Live Act is essential to the aesthetic of 3rd Street Down. The group has performed all across the Midwest, including the Illinois State Fair and Ball State University as well as performances in Yucatan, Mexico. 


Band Members