Six of our favorite performances at Public Space One

As of today, the future of Public Space One is still unclear.

Live performances are expected to transition into PS1’s sister location, PSZ, though venue director John Engelbrecht isn’t ruling out proposals to retain PS1 as a performance space on some level. PS1 will likely operate in an entirely different capacity should discussions with city officials prove fruitful.

Incidentally, we’ve spent a lot of time in this space. As many of you are aware (and as a matter of transparency for those who aren’t), we broadcast our weekly Little Village Live radio show from PS1. We’ve used the space as a press hub during the Mission Creek Festival. We’ve attended countless shows, and have had numerous staff members utilize the space for their own artistic ventures beyond the magazine.

With the fate of the venue undetermined, now is a great time to reflect on the terrific experiences PS1 has given us over the years. Give a few of them a look below, and be sure to pick up our latest issue–hitting newsstands today–for more on PS1.

Dinosaur Feathers

Dinosaur Feathers is a group that excels at creating beautiful vocal harmonies. This Public Space One show took place during the 2010 Mission Creek Festival, and although they didn’t receive top billing, Dinosaur Feathers put on one of the best performances of the week.

Sam Knutson

Sam Knutson’s Public Space One performance was simple and reserved by design, but it’s perhaps these kinds of shows where Public Space One truly comes into its own as a venue. Knutson was one of many performers this night, all of whom took a conservative approach to their set lists. The effect was a marvelously candid show, and three years later, I still catch myself humming those tunes.

So Much Fun

On the first night of the 2010 Mission Creek Festival, fresh-faced jam group So Much Fun put on a performance that was a pure joy to attend. The intimate venue did a wonderful job of complementing So Much Fun’s bouncy melodies and reverb-oriented instrumental tracks.

Sleepy Sun

The vocal style of Sleepy Sun is something that Public Space One, as a space, relishes in. Although the location is suited for music of all kinds, the ease with which singer Bret Constantino’s voice glided through the the room was remarkable.

Andy Cabic and Eric Johnson

When Vetiver’s Andy Cabic and Eric Johnson of the Fruit Bats were our guests on Little Village Live, it was a special day to put it simply. Not unlike Knutson’s performance featured earlier, Cabic and Johnson demonstrate why a couple of guitars and stools are all one really needs to put on a great set at PS1.


There are two types of people in Iowa City. Hott fans, and those haven’t seen of Hott. Sadly, the group has disbanded, but hopefully this video conveys a bit of the infectious energy Hott always carried to the stage. PS1 is designed to be transformed by the work it contains. On the heels of a few tracks that could be described as stripped down, what better way to end the list than with the elaborate theatrics of one of Iowa City’s greatest thrash groups?


  1. I didn’t think anyone remembered the Dinosaur Feathers show besides me! Probably my favorite show I’ve ever seen in Iowa City. I was just talking about it last night.

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