Sparta Celebrates 20th Anniversary in OKC


Photo provided by Beer City Music Hall

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Sparta will play at OKC’s Beer City Music Hall Friday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Gabi Merchen, Senior Writer

Mark your calendars, Oklahoma, because the minds, instrumentalists, and vocalists behind the seminal debut album “Wiretap Scars” are coming right to the center of the OKC metro for your listening pleasure.

As part of their 2023 US tour celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary of their debut album, Sparta is coming to the Beer City Music Hall Friday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. to treat music lovers in the area to their alternative mix of rock and art punk. The performance will feature support from Thursday’s Geoff Rickly as well as the core members of the band itself.

The band Sparta began to take shape around 2001 after a few members of At the Drive-In sought creative outlets in the aftermath of the band’s breakup. There were a few hiatuses as well as several changes in personnel, resulting in front man Jim Ward and bassist Matt Miller being the only remaining permanent members of the band. They play shows with a touring drummer.

Released on August 13, 2002, by Dreamworks Records, “Wiretap Scars” managed to reach 71 on the Billboard hot 200. The critical reception to the album was positive with several reviewers raving about the originality and ingenuity of the musicians’ offerings. The band was commended for maintaining some semblance of the sound reminiscent of At the Drive-In while simultaneously breaking into new musical territory in their own right.

Tickets are $25 each with free parking available at the lot directly east of the venue and free street parking. The vendor commented that other paid parking is available in the area, but it is not under their control. A bar will be serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for the evening. The venue is smoking-free and does not allow firearms, outside food or beverages.


Gabi Merchen is a fourth-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.