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Dying Scene Venue Spotlight: CR23 Bombshelter, Blende, Colorado (11/23).

Cody Rheuff is the owner of a DIY music venue that he and his wife, Carrie, opened in 2018 due to the lack of places for bands to play in the area. The CR23 Bombshelter is a community-oriented place where people of all ages can come together, hang out, and enjoy music. Cody sat down […]

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Cody Rheuff is the owner of a DIY music venue that he and his wife, Carrie, opened in 2018 due to the lack of places for bands to play in the area. The CR23 Bombshelter is a community-oriented place where people of all ages can come together, hang out, and enjoy music. Cody sat down and participated in an interview, check it out below.

Diego Rodriguez started a fundraiser to help keep this venue open. You can contribute here.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity

Dying Scene: Tell me about yourself. Who are you? What should Dying Scene readers know about you? 

Cody Rheuff: My name’s Cody Rheuff. We started CR23 Bombshelter down here in Pueblo. There wasn’t much of a music scene when we started. All the places had closed and we looked at this house and it was a good place for a venue. So, we opened it up. Our first show was the Mentors in 2018 and we’ve been going since then. 

DS: What inspired you to do this?

CR: Just the lack of places for anybody to play here in Pueblo. We had the Rainbow Bar at the time and they closed down due to financial problems and there just really wasn’t any place for a band to play other than houses and stuff. So, we tried it out and it worked out pretty good. At our first show we had like 20 people. Nobody knew who we were. It’s grown quite a bit. We have, on average, 75 people here for all the shows. We do a variety of music, mostly punk and metal, but we’ve had country, rap, and a little bit of everything. 

DS: What kind of shows do you host and how often do you have these shows? 

CR: We usually have them once a weekend. I try to keep them to the weekends in a rural area and try to be respectful of the neighbors but last year [2022] we put on 35 shows. This year we’ve had about 30 shows. We finally took a break for November and December because we’ve been just going and going and been tied to the place. It’s been fun. 

DS: Can you describe the Bombshelter for the readers? 

CR: It’s a community-type thing. Everybody knows each other that comes out here for the most part, if you don’t, they’ll know each other by the end of the night. It’s kind of a family, just a big family. It’s a place for the whole family to see the bands and hang out. We’ve had a lot of compliments about autistic kids being able to come out here. They don’t feel comfortable at bars and big venues. Out here, they feel comfortable and they can kind of let themselves be and have fun.

DS: That’s pretty cool. What are some bands that have played here and what is the most memorable show so far?

CR: So, we got The Quits out of Oregon and The PAWNS. Those have been really fun shows. We’ve had Houston Hermant and the Dirty Rats and they’re from New Jersey. We’ve had The Dead End and Sonic Vomit, both Pueblo bands. We got Death in the Silence. They’re kind of hard to put into a category but they were always really fun. The crowd likes them. We’ve had so many, but I’d say probably the Quits are one of my favorite ones. They always come down for my birthday, put on a big show, and bring a lot of bands from Oregon and stuff. The Dead End shows are always fun. I love Diskount Vodka. That’s my style…the hardcore, just in-your-face punk style.

DS: The most memorable? 

CR: I’d probably have to go back to the Quits and Cellblock 3. That was a good one. We had The Flametrick Subs here. That was a really fun show. We had Three Bad Jacks just a couple months ago. And just a lot of fun rockabilly and psychobilly shows and that’s one of my favorite ones because everybody can dance and get into it and just have fun. 

Left to Right. Lucian Barela (LJ), Matt Hamilton (Pickle), and Carlos Gomez of the Dead End with Cody Rhueff.

DS: What advice do you have for venue owners or touring bands? 

CR: We started out slow…and just for venue owners, treat the bands with respect and take care of them like you’d want to be taken care of if you were out traveling and stuff. That’s what I’ve always tried to do. We run on donations at the door. I don’t have a bar or anything down here. It’s just a basement. We have to rely on people coming up to the shows and helping out to be able to get the bands here and pay for their gas and stuff. We get a lot of bands from Denver, which is a hundred-mile drive for them. It’s kind of hard to justify not paying them. The bands, the same thing, treat the venues with respect and stuff. We’ve had people and touring bands stay at our house to save on having to pay for a hotel and stuff. We really haven’t had any bad experiences with that. It’s been nice to meet new people with new points of view and it’s been fun. 

DS: How should touring bands get in touch with you if they want to play at the Bombshelter? 

CR: We’ve got Facebook for the CR 23 Bombshelter and it’s got my phone number and email on it so they can contact me through that. Been pretty good with that so far. 

DS: What bands are you listening to this week?

CR: Houston and the Dirty Rats. That’s one of my favorite go-to ones. A lot of old school punk…The Vandals and Sex Pistols and stuff like that. And then I go to the metal…Otep and Hatebreed, a few of them. Those are my go-tos. 

DS: What else would you like to share with Dying Scene readers? 

CR: Just support your local scenes. I mean, we got to keep the little places alive. That’s our future. Nobody would hear about these bands…all major bands were once in a little place like this.

DS: Thank you.

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