Notepad Brad headlines first solo gig at Rhino’s

Notepad Brad headlines first solo gig at Rhino’s

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Brad McMahan looks like any other hip-hop fan in his backward baseball cap, red t-shirt and navy blue cargo shorts.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2015) Rhino's All Ages Music Club features frequent hip-hop showcases to highlight the musical talents of local kids. Performers at the Aug. 8, 2015, showcase included the inaugural solo set by Brad McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, who has gained popularity with the Bloomington-based group Indigo Kidz. Joining him were December's Finest and Paradox, both area hip-hop acts. Rhino's encourages creative expression during its after-school and weekend activities.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2015) Rhino’s All Ages Music Club features frequent hip-hop showcases to highlight the musical talents of local kids. Performers on Aug. 8, 2015, included Brad McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, December’s Finest and Paradox. (Photo by Linda Margison)

At a hip-hop showcase Aug. 8, 2015, at Rhino’s All Ages Music Club, he stands for a while with his friends, and then he kicks back on a pale worn couch and chats with a young fan. He smiles and he jokes. He stands and bounces from foot to foot.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2015) Brad McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, talks with a fan, DaNita Morrow, before his Saturday night, Aug. 8, 2015, performance at Rhino's All Ages Music Club. McMahan has gained popularity with the Bloomington-based group Indigo Kidz, but this hip-hop showcase marked his first solo performance. Rhino's features frequent hip-hop showcases to highlight the musical talents of local kids. Joining him were December's Finest and Paradox. Rhino's encourages creative expression during its after-school and weekend activities.
Brad McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, talks with a fan, DaNita Morrow, before his Saturday night, Aug. 8, 2015, performance at Rhino’s All Ages Music Club. (Photo by Linda Margison)

To the casual witness, he is just another fan excited to see the show.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2015) Brad McMahan, who performs as Notepad Brad, tries to relax before taking the stage in his first solo hip-hop performance at Rhino's All Ages Music Club on Aug. 8, 2015. McMahan is no stranger to the stage, having gained popularity with the Bloomington-based group Indigo Kidz, but the show was his first without hype suport from his bandmates. Other area acts performing were Paradox and December's Finest.
Brad McMahan, who performs as Notepad Brad, tries to relax before taking the stage in his first solo hip-hop performance at Rhino’s All Ages Music Club on Aug. 8, 2015. (Photo by Linda Margison)

However, McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, is the headliner. He gained local popularity with the Bloomington-based group Indigo Kidz, but tonight is his inaugural solo set.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2015) Brad McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, watches as Paradox takes the stage during a hip-hop showcase Aug. 8, 2015, at Rhino's All Ages Music Club. McMahan has gained popularity with the Bloomington-based group Indigo Kidz, but Saturday's performance was his first solo set. McMahan headlined the event that included Paradox and December's Finest. Rhino's hosts frequent showcases to give local teens a safe place to enjoy local music.
Brad McMahan watches as Paradox takes the stage during a hip-hop showcase Aug. 8, 2015, at Rhino’s All Ages Music Club. (Photo by Linda Margison)

At 8 p.m., the lights dim and the first act, Paradox, takes the stage. McMahan stands near the front, dances and encourages the young act. After a short intermission, the next group, December’s Finest, belts out a couple of songs, and then invites McMahan to join in the fun. He leaps to the stage, grabs a mic and settles in the groove, dancing and rapping with the duo.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2015) After watching his fellow musicians perform, Brad McMahan, also known as Notepad Brad, raps on the dance floor so he can interact with the audience at Rhino's All Ages Music Club. McMahan gained popularity locally with the Bloomington-based group Indigo Kidz, but the Aug. 8, 2015, show was his inaugural solo set. Joining him were December's Finest and Paradox. Rhino's encourages creative expression during its after-school and weekend activities. (Photo by Linda Margison)
After watching his fellow musicians perform, Brad McMahan raps on the dance floor so he can interact with the audience at Rhino’s All Ages Music Club on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. (Photo by Linda Margison)

When it’s his turn, McMahan chooses not to stay on stage, but instead to take over the dance floor and interact with his fans.

“It’s different without the hype,” he says after the show, referring to the vocal support of his fellow Indigo Kidz. He appears exhausted, but also pleased with his performance.

As the entertainment space is emptied and staff shuts down the showplace, McMahan makes sure he greets each of the dozen or so attendees. He asks names. He jokes. It’s obvious that he’s tired.

“Thank you for coming out,” he says.

As he’s leaving, he runs back to thank the Rhino’s staff and hug another performer’s mom.

“Thanks,” he says, and then he’s off and out the back door.

Rhino’s offers frequent hip-hop showcases to highlight the musical talents of local kids and young adults. The space encourages creative expression during its after-school and weekend activities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Young Eagles: Pilot shares love of aviation with young people

The Heroin Project: Community steps up to fight addiction

19-year-old wants to ‘be the change’ as she faces bipolar disorder

Nashville mom shares passion for flowers with young daughters

Bloomington’s 4th Street Festival a hot ticket for arts enthusiasts

Veteran photographer evolves from journalist to artist

Mom gives daughter legacy by speaking against drunk driving

Graduate pursues art therapy career after suicide attempt

Ordinary Hoosier Cari Ray talks about roots, music and cowboy boots

21-year-old stays positive in battle with chronic adrenal fatigue

Brown County musician encourages consumers to shop local

Glimpse: Daughter shares memory of mom at Alzheimer’s walk

Activism: IU students march to raise awareness of climate change

Volunteer spotlight: Mom leads fundraiser for weekend meal program

What a hoop! Hudsucker Posse brings circus-style flow arts to town

Fricktion: Office worker by day, hip hop performer by night

A fading tradition: Hoosier finds passion caring for family, elderly

Preserving traditions: Casandra Karl teaches Papel Picado art

Heroin Hits Home Series: Parents share their story of addiction

The Heroin Project: Non-profit focuses on harm reduction for IV drug users

Habitat raises funds, and then walls, to get family in home by the holidays

Regional Report: Brown County revs up for October tourism

Small-town optometrist lives dream by building relationships with patients

Feature: Pole-vaulter sets high goals for herself and her future

Grandma, pearls ignite jewelry designer’s passion for art

Feature: Ashley Day brings big-city fashion to small town

Learn about Ordinary Hoosiers and Margison Creative Services