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Memories of Tremont Music Hall -- 5 people recall their favorite concerts

Tremont Music Hall, located in South End
Tremont Music Hall, located in South End charlotte observer

Tremont Music Hall will close its doors for good Saturday following a 17-band local bill. The venue celebrated its 20th anniversary in March.

Here, five Charlotteans (including me) recall the most memorable concerts they witnessed at the venue.

(1) Caitlin Lacy, who worked the door before moving into management under original owner Penny Craver. She now works in Washington, D.C.

Caitlin Lacey

“My favorite show was probably Vic Chesnutt. I was young and probably only went because I think (local band) Lou Ford was opening. It was the first time I remember being so moved by an artist I had never heard before. I missed most of Iggy Pop, although it was amazing when he had them turn up all the lights and played (the Stooges’ songs) ‘No Fun’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog.’”

(2) Justin Driscoll, photographer, graphic designer, and guitarist/bassist, currently of the band Scowl Brow. He first played Tremont in 1999 at age 13 for his old band Scapegoat’s very first show. Scapegoat went on to tour Japan.

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“Snapcase, Boy Sets Fire and H20 in 1998. It was the first show I saw at Tremont. It changed by life. Seriously, I had only really seen moshing at punk shows before then. I get there and they are doing hardcore karate and the guitar players were doing pinch harmonics in harmony.”

(3) Matt Turner, screenprinter and lifelong punk fan.

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“My favorite show at Tremont was probably Man Afraid. They were part of the living room sets Penny (Craver) had. All I remember about them is they were from Minneapolis and the lead singer committed suicide shortly after that tour. It was weird, because I actually really connected with him, like we would’ve hung out if he lived here.”

(4) John Hayes, current owner.

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“Gwar when (previous owner) Dave (Ogden) owned Tremont. It was my first Gwar show. I remember going home and telling my wife, ‘If I’m covered in blood when you wake up, don’t worry.’  I also got to play with Antiseen on my birthday. (Guitarist) Joe (Young) was still alive. I learned two songs and I froze at sound check, but as soon as I got on stage during the show, it was like I was on autopilot. I guess the adrenaline hits. That show meant the most to me.”

(5) Me! (Courtney Devores, music writer.)

Courtney Devores, Music Writer

I always go back to the first anniversary show with Rancid, Rocket From the Crypt and the Suicide Machines. I stood up front and danced, which I never do. Few people had ever heard of the opening act, Detroit’s Suicide Machines, who had not yet released its Hollywood Records’ debut “Destruction By Definition” yet. In the next few weeks we were inundated with requests for the album at the record store where I was working at the time. Years later I formed a friendship based on a mutual love for that band.

In other headlines …

– If you’re donating a shoe box filled with gifts to Operation Christmas Child, leave out the Harry Potter and Pokemon. “There’s a possibility (they) could interfere with our ministry to share the love of Christ with kids around the world,” an assistant director said. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian charity headed by Franklin Graham.

– Kindred in Davidson will be the first Charlotte-area restaurant to win a James Beard award — the Oscars for restaurants — Observer restaurant writer Helen Schwab predicts. Why? For one, the food is really good.

Two new restaurants are coming to Park Road Shopping Center where Monkey Joe’s used to be: Burton’s Grill and Urban Cookhouse. Both are expected to open in the spring.

– The Salvation Army plans to give gifts to more than 6,000 low-income homes this year, including 11,360 children age 12 and under. It’s one of the largest community volunteer projects in the South.

– Amelie’s French Bakery finished 14th on a list of the top 20 most Instagrammed bakeries in America.

Photos: Amy Rainey; Courtney Devores; John Hayes; Dane Abernathy

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