Michael Schang is the last member of Steel Bridge Promotions. He’s been booking all-ages shows around Pittsburgh for several years, bringing in artists of quality and entertaining caliber (Andrew W.K., anybody?!). CP caught up with Schang via email to see why Steel Bridge is closing up shop, what’s in store for the last show and what’s next for him.
What’s SBP’s origin story?
Steel Bridge started off as a group of people — Matt Schang, Mark Schang, Nikki Schang, Justin Levy and myself — wanting to bring shows to Pittsburgh. We were all new to the city and wanted to be a part of the music scene in some way. It took off really fast, and we were accepted into the music scene right from the start. Our shows were different, and I think people picked up on that quickly. After a while, everyone in the group left because of life and other responsibilities, leaving me the only member of Steel Bridge. I have operated everything since then.
In the past, you’ve taken breaks from booking, but this one seems more permanent. Why will you be closing up the metaphorical shop on SBP?
If anyone has ever tried booking a show, they know how mentally, physically and financially draining it can be. I am VERY happy with what Steel Bridge has accomplished, and I will always remember it fondly. But I always told myself that if this ever felt like work instead of a fun hobby, I would step away from it.
How did you pick the lineup for the last show?
The last show is a mixture of one touring band (Thou, from New Orleans) and a bunch of friends’ bands (Brown Angel, Slaves BC, Mires, and Pummeled). Thou is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I really couldn’t ask for a better local line-up! I am VERY happy with how it all took shape, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Are you sad about SBP ending?
I am not sad that it’s ending, because I have so many great memories and have met so many great people through this experience. Steel Bridge Promotions has always existed for two reasons: to help touring bands on the road, and to bring unique and different live music to Pittsburgh that I thought the people needed to see/hear.
What’s next for you?
You will still be seeing me around the scene. I will be helping Christopher Woodford and his group Winterforge Promotions. He is another DIY promoter in the city and one of the hardest-working and nicest guys around. I am excited to see what will happen when we put our minds together!
Any parting words?
I just want to give a quick thank-you to everyone that has been a part of this in any way. Steel Bridge Promotions would have never worked without the people that supported it.