Mike Behrmann and his business partner believed that there was a need for a new music venue in Portsmouth and he set out to make it happen. You see, growing up Mike went to a semi legendary place in this city called the Elvis Room and the live thump of the drums beat an impression into his soul he couldn’t forget. It was this connection to the live music experience that he wanted to bring back to the city.
Born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, Mike grew up on a steady diet of music. Early on it was Moody Blues albums with his dad and latter on he became a fan of punk, thus the trips up to Portsmouth. So, you can see that music was in his DNA and you can understand why it’s important to him. But, when you talk to Mike, you get the sense that he is a man on a mission and you believe that he is about more than just selling tickets, that he truly wants to elevate the music scene and create a gathering place for the community.
One of the biggest challenges in live music today is getting diversity, but it is so critical.
He’s well on his way, the venue he founded on the Vaughn Mall is called The Birdseye Lounge. Built on the belief that diverse entertainment and live performance enriches our community and the human experience as a whole. But it wasn’t easy to open and it still hard to figure out the right mix of attractions in this age of easily downloaded music and video. But, he believes that The Birdseye fills a sweet spot in the local music scene and that it’s soul, community atmosphere, and stellar acoustics will lead to it’s success. At 200 plus seats he can book a lot of acts that would have passed Portsmouth by on their way to other cities like Portland, Maine or Boston, MA. The proof is in the pudding and in only a year of operation The Birdseye has booked such renown acts as The Nth Power, Suitcase Junket, Comedian Tom Shillue, and dozens of local bands like Tan Vampires, Todo Bien, The Lookbacks, Soggy Po’ Boys, and jazz acts of all kinds.
“I’m always proudest to showcase the exceptional local musicians the most.” said Mike. We caught up with Mike at the lounge as he prepped for another show.
Video shot and edited by Jesse Manfra.
Want to hear some local music
Birdseye books National, regional, and local acts. But the Tiny Bit…music collections are all local. Hear some of the acts you’ll be seeing headlining places like the Birdseye.