Amos’ Southend will close its doors Sunday, after a show by local bands who have graced its stage in recent years: Beyond the Fade, Auxilia, A Graceful Regret, Beyond the Broken and others.
It’ll also include the bands of two sound engineers who have done work at Amos’ over the years. My husband’s instrumental trio is one of them. In recent months, Phil had started taking our 8-year-old son to some smaller shows, to teach him about sound. (Devo knows now to bring the guitar up during solos, though I still freak out a little when he pushes a fader up.)
Both my sons love the place, so its closing feels especially unfortunate.
But Amos’ is yet another ending of places from what I consider “my era” in Charlotte. And I find myself growing less and less attached to the city.
Amos’ began as a small restaurant and venue at Park Road Shopping Center, booking Dave Matthews Band and Hootie and the Blowfish early in their careers and giving regional college rock bands like Cravin’ Melon and Dillon Fence a local home.
It closed in 1998, but reopened in 2000 in South End, creating the local tribute band boom of the early ’00s. Eventually it expanded, doubling capacity to 1,200 and installing a sleek balcony and multiple bars. There, I saw once-in-a-lifetime shows: The Beastie Boys and Sheryl Crow’s “Get Out the Vote” tour in 2008. The Flaming Lips’ uncomfortably packed 2007 appearance. Celebrity-luring parties for the Democratic National Convention with Styx, Flo-Rida, and the Roots.
John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Fifth Harmony and Anthony Hamilton all played there on the way to headlining arenas.
Amos’ closure differs from that of other businesses shut down because of development: Owner John Ellison has lost the parking space required for big shows; he had leased that from a neighboring land owner, but development is eliminating that option. He plans to move his Gin Mill, now next door, into the Amos’ building.
But it won’t be the same. Since 2015, music venues Chop Shop, Tremont and the Double Door have closed, too, and the Milestone holds on but is threatened with the same. I’ve seen landmark shows at all of them. Valient Thorr, L7 and David Mayfield come to mind.
The changes in this part of South End have been the kicker for me. I managed a coffee shop and pottery gallery on Camden Road that closed in 2005, but the neighboring businesspeople remained friends and some customers had become family. Those businesses continued to feed me, cut my hair and frame my artwork. All that’s left now is bright orange dirt and construction equipment. With the abrupt loss of Phat Burrito just weeks ago, only the Art League and Charlotte Post remain.
Closings are nothing new, of course. Locals still talk about long-ago-departed clubs from the late ’80s and early ’90s: The Pterodactyl, 1313, 4808, Park Elevator.
And we still have a slew of small venues plus Visulite, Neighborhood Theatre, The Fillmore and its neighboring Underground – and there’s talk of new ones. And Amos’ has closed before.
But, I wonder, is it too little too late for me?
Charlotte has improved greatly in the 22 years I’ve been here. We’ve got more entertainment options, more dining and more stores. There’s more to write about than there was in 1995.
But my ties are slipping.
Last show at Amos’
WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday.
WHERE: Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St.