Friday April 18th 2014

Love Me Do: Lonely Hearts Club Band’s Singles Night

By: Shannon Bryan

Sgt. Connor’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s Singles Night

8 pm Mondays at Slainte Wine Bar, Portland | Free

Some things are easy to find (used books on the internet, tall people in crowds).

But love? That’s harder.

Love is the Bigfoot of your social life. It’s elusive. You might spot it from a distance, but it scares easily and bolts into the woods. Maybe it wasn’t love at all. I mean, you took a picture, but it’s out of focus and kind of looks like a grown man in a bathrobe.

Local comedian Connor McGrath understands. He’s out and about in Portland a few times a week – performing at open mics or catching some live music – but admits it’s not always easy to meet people in those situations.

“A lot of people in my generation – the younger 20-somethings – we kind of have a difficult time connecting in a setting like a bar,” he said. “I have a hard time meeting people because of the really loud music or there’s a show and I don’t really want to socialize or chitchat while they’re performing.”

So McGrath decided to solve the problem with Sgt. Connor’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s Singles Night happening Monday nights at Slainte Wine Bar in Portland.

Connor McGrath photo

The singles-centric weekly event, hosted by McGrath, gives the romantically independent a chance to meet and talk, and the evening’s performances are a catalyst for those introductory conversations.

Each Singles Night will be themed, with local comedians and storytellers taking the stage to speak, joke, and regale attendees with their thoughts on the night’s topic of discussion. Then the single folks are free to chat with each other, hopefully using the night’s prompt as a starting point. (Because methods of meeting people might change over the years, but you still have to figure out how to start a conversation with a stranger.) There will also be low-key live music, either from a DJ or local musician, but McGrath notes it’ll be music that enhances conversation rather than hindering it.

“This is a nice way to initiate some discussion. We’ll have some entertainment, we’ll have some spoken word and storytelling,” said McGrath. “It’s just to inspire fun conversation, not necessarily romantic, just meeting new friends.”

But hey, if it does get romantic, McGrath is all for it.

“If I’m responsible for a wedding or a few babies, that’d be great!”

Sgt. Connor’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s Singles Night starts Monday, March 11 at 8 pm and will run weekly at Slainte Wine Bar, Portland. There’s never a cover and there will be drink specials (the event is 21+).

March 11 theme: “The First time I….” Music: Kurt Baker DJing
March 18 theme: “If I could go back in time…” including a presentation on time travel

FMI: Check out the event on Facebook