Sunday, December 20, 2015

Final thoughts and my Tremont weekend photos

Saturday night Tremont Music Hall held its final show - a day long festival-style bill that ended with Charlotte's Antiseen taking an ax to the stage. The ax didn't do much damage - only 200 Insane Clown Posse fans could take that stage down, as they did back in the late `90s when the stage collapsed during their set.

Here are my personal photos of many former and current employees and both shows - Friday's Junior Astronomers, the Verdict, and Watch Husky Burn, and Saturday's headlining Antiseen set. Mostly these photos are about some of the folks that worked there, although there are plenty of people I remember who were not there.

I saw my first show at Tremont in September 1995. It was my boss' band Laburnum. There are few things you can depend on to always be there in your life. Favorite bands break up. Favorite restaurants close. Pets die. I always felt like "General Hospital" was one fixture in my life - I've been watching since I was 5. Tremont was the other. It survived three owners, as well as the opening of almost every other venue in town besides the Milestone and Double Door. It's almost a point of pride for the people involved that it was development, not competition, that killed it.

Watching Junior Astronomers final set there Friday reminded me what Tremont was all about. It's rare to see local fans so excited about local bands - we often take them for granted, which is understandable. But Junior's fans gave as much as they got, singing along, crowd surfing, fists pumping. It gave me chills. Locals championing locals. The guys in Junior Astronomers started playing, like so many other Charlotte musicians, on Tremont's stage as kids and they encompass what fostering a youthful local scene is all about. They're good. They tour nationally. They nurture the local and regional music scene. And most importantly they inspire the kind of enthusiasm that's contagious.

As a mother I don't know that I want to live in a city where kids and fledgling musicians don't have a place to go, to watch bands, to learn to perform, book, and promote.