Sean Moeller has a surprise for you. And it could be your favorite band playing right here in the Quad-Cities. The mastermind behind Daytrotter.com — the online music outlet featuring one-of-a-kind performances by an eclectic plethora of respected national artists, all recorded at Rock Island’s Daytrotter studios — has debuted "Moeller Mondays," a weekly concert series at Rock Island’s Rozz-Tox featuring a different artist every week.
The catch? Nobody knows who the act will be until they hit the stage.
“I like the idea of it being a mystery, and I think it’s really cool that other people seem to really like it, too,” Moeller said. “It’s cool that people trust me and trust my taste in music enough that they’ll come out, not knowing who’s going to play, but knowing that it’s going to be worth their while, no matter who it is.”
Moeller has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt. He’s been bringing Daytrotter shows to the area for more than eight years and has consistently been ahead of the curve in regards to picking quality acts that have both broken commercially and sustained a solid reputation musically.
Along with that, the site has built a rich network of contacts with well-known bands, so much so that "Moeller Mondays" could feature almost anyone at any time, regardless of how well- or little-known they are.
“It’s cool that on any given Monday night we could fly someone really famous in to do a show right here in Rock Island for a few hours,” Moeller said. “We wanted to bring that to people, and we wanted to do it for a fair price and at a good time. It’s early in the evening, so even if you’ve got to work the next day or get the kids up for school, you can still come out and get a quality night of entertainment really cheap.”
The event began as a birthday celebration for the Daytrotter founder, a local musician and former Quad-City Times writer, as well as a surprise anniversary gift for Moeller’s wife to celebrate their 10 years together. He selected a number of her favorite acts and put together the bill for a small celebration at their favorite venue.
“It turned out great,” he said.
A few weeks later, another band was in town on a Monday, looking for a place to play, and Moeller again obliged. And the show, despite little advance notice other than word-of-mouth, drew well.
“Usually, Rozz-Tox is closed on Mondays, but people were coming out and having a blast, so we just started doing shows, and more and more people started coming, and we thought it was kinda cool,” he said. “We were like ‘Wow, this is really amazing. This could really be something pretty awesome.' "
Moeller already has acts booked through the end of February and promises “some really big names that are really going to surprise people.”
So does he want to give any hints on who might be showing up?
“No,” he said with a laugh.
“I like there being whispers about so-and-so coming, I like that there’s a mystery to it and that people can be shocked by something in a good way,” he said. “And I’m really excited to see what happens. I love to see the look on people’s faces when they realize who’s taking the stage and they know they’re going to see something really cool.”
He’ll have to get used to seeing that look quite a bit over the next few months.