Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Close of the Arena

Well, you might know the news already, but iconic Fortitude Valley music venue the Arena (or the Roxy if you remember the golden olden days) has officially closed its doors for live music (allegedly its a fire hazard). The venue had its last hurrah last Thursday night playing host to several artists (all of whom I’d never heard of). The arena and I had some good times and some ordinary times. It does hold a special place in my heart I suppose. I went to my very first ever ‘valley gig’ here, catching Swedish punksters Millencollin at the height of their powers back in 1999. I was a pale 18 year old, mostly unawares of the ways of the world. That fact really doesn’t have a lot to do with the story, but allow me to reminisce for a moment.

In years to follow, I saw countless acts at the venue. The ones that stick out are (i.e. the ones I can remember attending) were A Perfect Circle, The Shins, Doves, Death Cab For Cutie, Hot Hot Heat and Roots Manuva. I also recall seeing many local and Australian acts here: Girls Germs, Bantha Fodder, and the Giants of Science amongst others.

The venue itself I thought was adequate, though to be perfectly honest I preferred the Zoo. The Arena had these two annoying pillars stuck close to the stage, obscuring views from the left and right sides of the venue. I do admit that they were holding up the roof, so I guess I can’t complain that much.

Yet again, another piece of Brisbane’s music history has been deleted. Not all is lost however; the new Hifi Bar is set to open very soon in West End, promising some big acts over the coming year. Let’s hope it can at least fulfil the hole left in the music scene left by the Arena.

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