Arena Venus was a power pop/rock band that played shows in Madison, Chicago, Milwaukee, and surrounding areas from 2002 to 2005.
Started by guitarist Dan Hicks and vocalist Courtney Collins, the band recorded an EP titled "Plucked" in 2002. Collins and Hicks initially bonded over their mutual love of old-school power pop, and "Plucked" reflects the influences of early Cheap Trick, Blondie, and the Pretenders, with hints of the Pixies and Guided By Voices showing up as well. Drummer David Ross and bassist Andrew Yonda joined Arena Venus soon after, and the band began playing shows in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.
Taking a break from rock, Arena Venus recorded a Christmas CD - "Yuletide Swank" - in 2004, featuring lounge, rockabilly, and traditional versions of 17 holiday songs. "Yuletide Swank" made the list of Top 5 Things To Have For Christmas in the Wisconsin State Journal in December of 2004. This year, their version of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is being featured on the Salvation Army of Dane County's CD "Ringin' A Bell," with profits going to local charities.
As the band members became individually involved in other musical endeavors, Arena Venus split amicably in late 2005. This page contains an archive of past shows, photos, Courtney's past news diaries, and links to purchase Arena Venus CDs and t-shirts (while supplies last!).
Thanks for looking!