MANKATO -- What’s the point of attending a concert if you can’t carouse with the main act? Where’s the sense in paying hundreds of dollars for one ticket only to push among a sea of sweaty strangers on a concrete arena floor while the band is merely a group of tiny dots off in the distance?
Australian singer and songwriter Anthony Snape and Mankato’s Pub 500 agree such an environment is less than ideal.
Coming Friday, the cozy, cabin-like establishment plays host to the Aussie musician, who has made it his goal to be more than just another aloof artist barricaded by a platoon of security guards. In the middle of his sets, Snape mixes with the audience as a way to connect with people and uses it as inspiration for his material.
“Meeting new people and experiencing their stories is gold to me,” said Snape, paying tribute to his influential method of connection. “It’s a great source of information.”
Born in the small town of Gunnedah, Australia, Snape realized he was going to pursue a life of music by the time he could first walk. While listening to an American classic jamming on the radio, his revelation struck.
“Elvis [Presley] was playing on the radio, and after his song the disc jockey said that was ‘The King,’” Snape said. “I then asked my mom, ‘King?’ She then said that he was ‘The King’ because everyone loves hearing his stuff.”
From there, the thought of being king never escaped Snape’s mind. In good time, the Aussie artist jumped from high school bands and theatre performances to being a backup singer for bigger name performers. Under the influence of Aussie finger-style guitar great, Tommy Emmanuel, and after creating his own band, winning an award and establishing himself on the Aussie pop scene, he packed his bags and moved to the U.S. in 2008.
Since then, Snape has toured major cities from New York to Los Angeles. With his effectual vocal range, pristine as they come, he has rocked venues such as New Orleans’ House of Blues and Chicago’s Park West. He’s also opened up for Emmanuel, the guitar legend himself.
Yet, Snape prefers traveling around the country and playing smaller venues as opposed to larger.
"My music communicates well in a smaller environment,” Snape said.
But how did the international musician land on Mankato as a place to perform? How did he go from writing about the character and personalities of random women on city buses in Sydney to entertaining a fine Midwestern bar audience?
The answer: Local Australian-born resident Mike Whitney -- who also volunteers at Mankato’s KMSU-FM, which is sponsoring the event -- met Snape after a performance in Madison, Wis.
Whitney said Snape's voice and messages are what hook listeners to his material.
“It’s what he was born to do,” said Whitney. “He’s very passionate about his music, and he likes to connect.”
Snape’s new album, "Resonate," is a perfect example of how captivating the Aussie’s musical spirit can be. According to the album’s description, “In every song you can feel the drive, heart, struggle, the journey and endless passion. The music draws you closer. Rattles you deep, like an old friend and awakens a part inside of you that was longing to be found.”
If You Go What Anthony Snape performance Where Pub 500, 500 S. Front St. When Music begins at 9:30 p.m.