Storefront was almost always cramped. The strangely placed stone walls did nothing good for the bands, whose sounds bounced between. Once the rains came they mixed with the smoke, sweat, and breath, and the air inside became so thick you could swim in it.
In other words, Storefront was just about perfect.
Perfect for those late-night, wild shows—a place where you could dance and pour beers on your friends' heads while bands played practically on top of you. Where the kids could come see a show, and where the adults felt like kids. It was like a basement party with no rotten neighbors to call the cops.
But finally everyone's nosy neighbor—the OLCC—caught a whiff. And once again, the clamps were put down.
The club started over a year ago when two guys, Carl and Tucker (last names withheld), needed a place to continue the dance parties they'd been throwing in their basement. At the newfound Storefront space (7th and Main), the parties did well and went late. Looking for a change of pace after a while, the two, along with their band, Reverse Dotty and the Candy Cane Shivs, started throwing concerts.
"Our ideal show would usually be an out-of-town band sandwiched between two local bands," Carl told me. "There are a lot of really great bands who tour and don't necessarily want to play in a traditional club that's open every night, but can appreciate having a little more organization and experience than the average house party."
The success of the shows, Carl said, were a result of Storefront's ability to "offer that halfway point." But it didn't last long.
"The OLCC showed up and listed off a bunch of reasons that basically add up to why it is impossible for us to legally collect any money toward our rent while still providing what we consider to be a good event," explained Carl.
He continued, "Part of me wants to say they were really cool about it because they didn't take us to jail and provided that if we locked up the beer and didn't collect any money, they'd let the show continue rather than bring in the police. On the other hand I strongly feel that what we were doing was wholesome and good, so when a bunch of people who so obnoxiously embody the Man tell me from behind their clipboards that what we are doing is committing 'serious crimes,' it is maddening."
So rather than tempt fate any longer, Carl and the band threw their last show Friday night, November 16. After the bands finished, the records began to roll. Nobody wanted to let go. It was like a wake of sorts, and it's really too bad that Storefront had to die—it was before it's time.
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