He used to skateboard about five blocks from here.
And to hear Brendon Urie tell it, there may still be a part of him on the neighboring streets outside.
“You can probably still find some blood from where I used to fall,” the Panic! at the Disco frontman noted with a wry smile from inside a Henderson Boys & Girls Club, 2980 Robindale Road, on Sunday afternoon.
Now, the Las Vegas native has left an even more lasting stamp on these parts, as he was here to christen the new Notes for Notes studio he was instrumental in helping to get funded and constructed.
A national nonprofit, Notes for Notes builds, equips and staffs free after-school recording studios for young people to record music and learn about engineering and production.
There are 25 such studios across the country, with the Vegas entry being both the newest and most advanced, becoming the organization’s flagship model.
Featuring a red-and-white decor evocative of the colors of sponsor State Farm insurance, which donated $500,000 to have the studio built, the large tracking room is well-appointed with instruments — guitars, basses, keys, a drum set, an estimated $10,000 worth of gear provided by the Fender Play Foundation — its walls checkered with images of rock and pop greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Pink Floyd and Madonna, in addition to an autographed six-string from Urie.
“I can tell you right now, if I had these tools at your age, the band would have taken off when I was 12,” Urie quipped from behind a podium outside the studio, addressing a crowd of kids in baby blue Boys & Girls Club T-shirts eager to see the room for themselves. “Hopefully you’re going to get a sped-up version of what I got.”
The studio was put in motion after Urie visited the Chicago branch of Notes for Notes, where he worked on a song and hung out with the young group members.
“That night he said, ‘Do they have one of these in Vegas?” recalled Phil Gilley, CEO of Notes for Notes. “We said, ‘Nope.’ He was like, ‘I want to make it happen.’”
That he did.
For Andy Bischel, president/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, the studio is another way of bringing kids to the safe space the club intends to provide.
“We attract kids with different things,” he said. “It might be the gym. It might be a video game. We don’t care — as long as they walk through the door. Now, we have a new tool to bring those kids in through the door. It is state of the art. It is groundbreaking for us. We’ve never had a music component to our clubs, but we do now. It will kick off futures.”
As excited as the kids were to get into studio, Urie seemed even more so.
Flanked by his parents and junior high music teacher Richard Matta, Urie climbed behind the drumkit at one point to jam with Matta on trumpet, while also grooving along to some of the young performers, including a fresh-faced rapper who wowed the room.
“That’s fun, man!” Urie beamed afterward. “That’s why music is the best.”
Contact Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.