Rocking at The Icehouse
Photographed by Jessica Wilmoth
A cylinder-shaped, stone building that stored ice in the olden days is now a music venue and pub for Davis and Elkins College students. Built in the late 1800s by Senator Stephen B. Elkins, The Icehouse is a unique, three-level venue that has been hosting live bands, DJs, and open mics, and serving beer, soda, and popcorn to students and their guests since 1969.
“The Icehouse is convenient. It’s right on campus and students know their friends are going to be there,” says Manager Spinner O’Flaherty.
Inside The Icehouse is a spiral stairway, a bar on the first level, and room for live performances on the middle level, where there is also an upright piano that students can play. Students watch performances from behind railings on the third level where the couches and restrooms are and also on the first level of the building.
Morgantown’s Tom Batchelor Band, who plays island dance music, reggae, and calypso music, fondly recalls playing a summer luau concert at The Icehouse in August 2009. Tom Batchelor says he would love to play at the distinctive venue again. “We really enjoyed the historic atmosphere. It’s a little unique in that you’re not on the same level as the audience. The crowd was enthusiastic and the sound was good considering the odd configuration,” he says.
The Icehouse is open on Friday and Saturday nights, and The Appalachian Music and Dance Club and The Aurora Literary Magazine host an open mic once on a month on Thursdays. Acts who have played at The Icehouse include Jim Donovan of Rusted Root, Five Times August, Davisson Brothers Band, The New Relics, 6’6 240, The Foxhunt, and The Hybrids.
The Icehouse hosts comedy, too. Comedian Rob O'Reilly, who has appeared on Comedy Central and NBC’s Last Comic Standing, recently performed at The Icehouse, as well as comedian Tim Dimond, who has performed at the Improv and Funny Bone in Pittsburgh.
Lately, The Icehouse has seen a shift in the type of entertainment students want to see, says Scott D. Goddard, vice president for student affairs, who does the venue’s booking. “Like with any college campus, the featured entertainment changes as the students change. Recently, we have seen a shift from live music to DJs, in particular student DJs. The dance scene is what seems to bring students to The Icehouse currently,” Scott says.
Coming Up at The Icehouse
9 p.m. Thursday, February 9, 2012; Appalachian Music/Dance Club & The Campus Activities Board Present Chester River Runoff
10 p.m. Saturday, February 25, 2012; The Campus Activities Board Presents ELIM