Carter: New Live Music Places

New Live Music Places

Richard Carter

With a number of clubs dropping rock music from their offerings, it was just a question of time before other venues tried their hands at filling them. Live music brings in people and cover charges or increased drink sales.

The first place for me to check out was the Blind Pig Saloon on 2223 Sheppard Access Rd., or what is the old location for The Hubcap. I’m sure it’s been some other places along the way as well. I had seen Broadcasting on All Frequencies play at the bar before, but my first time to check out bands that regularly play the bar circuit was last Saturday night with Zig Zag and Miyagi filling the bill. You just walk in, and find a place around the square bar, at tables near the stage or other tables in the club far away from the stage.

By the way, Zig Zag sounded great but they are about to lose their lead guitarist, so I imagine it might be a short trip back to the drawing board for them. Miyagi has transitioned nicely to Jon Richerson playing guitar for them. If Zig Zag was predominantly a ‘90s band, it seemed like Miyagi was very much an ‘80s band. Both decades suit each band, though they are hardly limited to them.

The club has a decent sized stage, and there were a number of people there to check out the bands—mostly the crowd was comprised of area musicians hanging around the bar or at the tables. There were plenty of other patrons doing things completely unrelated to the music. It seemed like there was good interaction between the listeners and the bands, and the sound was fine. I could see this turning into a regular venue. I am not sure if the club has its own sound system, because without one it surely makes it tougher for a band to play. Then again, Old Town never had a sound system and neither did The Office or P2.

Last Saturday, I checked out Michael Christmas spinning his DJ thing at the backroom in Old Town. Walking to the backroom, it appears that the old area that was used for live music has been boarded off, so I am not sure what they plan to use it for. Perhaps private parties? Anywho, the backroom where the DJ spun is usually the most crowded place in the club, and it was pretty full when I got there. The crowd was mostly from Sheppard Air Force Base, some Midwestern State University students and Michael Christmas fans and then the middle-aged business crowd the club has always drawn.

There’s not much room for dancing nor is there much lighting, so it’s a strange effect for any kind of rave oriented dance music. There was also at least two wide screen TV’s playing sports programming giving the room a sort of sports bar feel. I think if they choose to develop these back room DJ programs they can make some small changes and they will be fine. The bar is, of course, top notch, as is the clubs bartenders and wait staff.

That said, I would still love to see the downtown DJ venue Crush develop back into what it was when it originally opened. From what I understand, they still host shows once a month or so on Saturdays.

I understand that Outspire will play again (the second show) at Fat Alberts Pool and Pub on December 31 from 9:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. Admission to the club on 4011 Rhea Rd is free. This club will be another interesting venue to see if it develops.