While checking out upgrade efforts at Whiskey Bill's (7290 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood), I came face to face with some national stars of yesteryear. A trimmed-down Bad Boys of Metal Tour show had brought '80s pop-metal playboys Bang Tango to the Whiskey, along with original Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler (right). Shame on all of you who laid out the big bucks for Velvet Revolver at the Fillmore but couldn't pony up a measly fifteen dollars to see a clean and sober Adler (no, really) lay down his chops in fine form, despite having suffered two strokes and survived a coma.
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Bill Terrell, lead singer of Rogue, has been cleaning up the club since he purchased it five months ago. The most notable changes involve taller tables, some loungey booth areas and a sound-and-light system that proves the new owner is a true local music hero. Anyone familiar with Terrell's infamous after-parties knows that any place he's behind is a guaranteed good time, with an everybody's welcome vibe. So get over there and support this new haven for both hip and unhip (I'm evidence of that) music lovers.
Starlight, star brighter...the sale of the Starlight, the Fort Collins venue at 167 North College Street, makes husband-and-wife team James Sargent and Melissa Laugan its new owners; they take over from Eric Rabinowitz. The 'light was the right place at the right time for the couple, Sargent says, because both "love the venue, love the music, and finally have an opportunity to contribute to the scene."
The club's stayed open during a so-far seamless transition (from an audience view, anyway), with Sargent and Laugan splitting the duties that go with their new baby: day-to-day maintenance mostly handled by Laugan, with Sargent in charge of booking entertainment. Future plans include an ambitious list of renovations, including new bar tops, new furniture, an air-conditioning system and various back-room changes. The most important upgrade may be an overhaul of the Starlight's reputation. Sargent and his wife have friends in various Colorado bands, and the place has had some negative relations with local musicians, he says. So in the future, the live lineup -- a schedule will soon be available on the club's retooled website -- will pack plenty of local and national music, with homegrown acts that "are going to be the nationals one day," Sargent promises. That should be enough to make people see the 'light!
Finally, you don't have to be a Stephen King fan to appreciate the new Redrum -- make that Red Room -- recently revampired, uh, revamped at 320 East Colfax Avenue. The space is now even redder, with the windows tint-foiled to make Colfax seem much rosier by day. And the place has really jazzed up at night, adding live music to its weekly repertoire. The kitchen's also open until 1 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, giving patrons a bevy of munchies to nibble on in the late hours.