Reader: Say goodbye to local music as we know it
Beatdown, Dave Herrera, December 13
I read with interest and some trepidation about the "iconic" Gothic Theatre and the takeover by the "capable folks" at AEG. Thankfully, vice president Don Strasburg agrees with most of us who patronize this intimate venue and says the right things: "The room is gorgeous. It's been maintained wonderfully."
Don, let's keep it that way! The immediacy of this live experience — the closeness of the stage and performer to the audience — is typical of the vibrant small clubs in Denver. It is why this scene is sooo cool...and cherished. Don't blow it!
I recently went to one of your larger venues, the Ogden Theatre, and again was reminded of the separation of the stage from the front row by a large steel bulwark. This was not always the case at the Ogden, capacity 1,700. Behind that divider, front and center, were four yellow-shirted security guards who worked the front of the crowd like a military exercise. They destroyed the live experience for a lot of us down front. Mission accomplished?
Don, please don't homogenize that night at the Ogden with your newfound control of the Gothic. Responsibly use your newfound strength as a corporate promoter to cultivate your patrons who frequent small clubs with the kind of ticket prices that keep us coming back week to week rather than month to month. Listen to us? We will be listening to you.
First, I'd like to say that I've been in the local music scene (mostly the metal/hard-rock scene) for a long time, both as a musician and fan, and AEG is the worst possible thing that can happen to the Gothic! AEG doesn't care about the local bands — new or established. The only bands they care about are the ones that they book over and over or bands that have someone in them who also knows someone in AEG (pretty much I know you, so I'll put you on this show over another band that would be a better fit and give great exposure to.)
Say goodbye to local music as we know it.
Editor's note: Read many more comments — as well as an updated, expanded version of the Gothic story — on westword.com/backbeat.
"Ocean Journey," Nick Schager, November 22
If one is trying to decide what first-run movie to see for the holidays, please do not be swayed by the snarky put-down review of Life of Pi in Westword.
Militant atheists would indeed have an issue with the religious aspect of Ang Lee's work, but most others will embrace at least the questions he poses, not to mention the absolutely stunning visual delights and terrors that fill the screen throughout. (And I saw it in 2-D.)
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.