The head on the door

New venue and bar Resonant Head is shining its multicolored lights on Capitol Hill.

For as sprawling as Oklahoma City  is, it feels like so much of the young, hip indie-rock scene tends to forget that south of the Oklahoma River is still the same city.

With the pop and rock scenes largely relegated to central and north OKC, you might be forgiven for thinking that the music ends when the street signs start saying “south.”

But if a couple of to-capacity shows, a wildly colorful aesthetic and some serious citywide word-of-mouth have anything to say about it, Resonant Head on SW 25th in historic Capitol Hill is set to change that.

“Everything has sounded great, looked great, felt great,” said Patrick Glueck, Resonant Head’s general manager and talent buyer. “We’ve had some great feedback from customers and fans and already we have bands saying it’s one of the best venues they’ve played.”

That’s no easy feat for a brand new, untested venue, but fans of OKC’s burgeoning brand of landlocked dream-pop can’t seem to deny the neon-washed, otherworldly vibes in the space.

“We had an interior decorator named Bailey Lafitte,” Glueck said. “She had complete creative control over designing the entire inside.”

The result is multicolored bulbs, thin, glowing neon strips, silver curtains encasing the stage, and pastel panels adorning the already odd, midcentury architecture of the space that once was the lobby of Capitol Hill’s famous Oklahoma Opry.

click to enlarge The head on the door
Brett Fieldcamp
An inside look at Resonant Head.

In fact, Resonant Head isn’t even the first local business to repurpose the building into something suitably musical.

Old Blood Noise Endeavors, makers of notably offbeat effects pedals, set up shop on the other side of the building more than a year ago, and have already found in the venue a perfect place for shooting pedal demo videos and hearing the stage potential of their stompboxes.

The team at Resonant Head isn’t only concerned about working with their indie-oriented brethren next door, however.

“We want to be a part of the community here without taking it over,” Glueck said, acknowledging Capitol Hill’s expansive diversity, in particular the historic and celebrated Hispanic community and the efforts to rejuvenate the district with that cultural cornerstone in mind.

“We want to have Latin artists playing in here and to be the kind of place to host any type of event that this community needs or wants,” Glueck said. “We really are a multi-genre venue. We’re open to all things.”

Of course, the most important element in being there for the community is being a consistent part of it, so Resonant Head has no intention of just being a venue or an event space. Though the stage and the sound system are top quality, and the room was designed for a crowd, the focus is on the bar and on providing the area with the kind of consistent, creative cocktail space and hangout that every district needs.

“Capitol Hill Graffix is right across the street, and we’re going to them for all of our merch, and there’s a local business on this same strip that’s started coming here every week for their ‘Thirsty Thursdays,’ bringing 30 or 40 people in every week,” Glueck said. “So it’s just about collaborating and keeping it local however we can.”

Part of what’s bringing patrons back again and again is the now seemingly requisite house beer.

click to enlarge The head on the door
Brett Fieldcamp
A can of Resonant Head Lager by Stonecloud Brewery.

Following in the remarkably successful footsteps of The Jone’s Assembly’s Concert Beer from Lively Beerworks and Beer City Music Hall’s Cold Beer from Anthem Brewing, Resonant Head partnered with aficionado favorites Stonecloud Brewing Co. on the Resonant Head Lager, a refreshing, light lager in the required tallboy can.

“I worked at Stonecloud for about five-and-a-half years before coming here and I loved it,” Glueck said. “So it just really made sense to go to them for this house beer.”

Even with the shockingly successful opening shows, the rising community acceptance and collaboration, and the specially-canned brew, the team is already looking forward to the future and all the possibilities of the building, the area and the growing scene.

There’s even been rumblings about finally renovating and resurrecting the old Oklahoma Opry into a new, full-sized theater.

“We like this area because it’s kind of untapped right now,” Glueck said. “It’s been brought down for too long and we want to help bring it back up, which is what a music venue and bar can do, you know? It brings people to the area with a purpose, and that’s music.”


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