Monday, July 20, 2009

Saying goodbye to an old friend

If you would have told me 12 years ago that I'd be sad the day they closed Richard's on Richards, I'd have told you you're crazy. But here we are. It was Richard's last night last night and I'm sad.

Richard's seemed to take it's place in Vancouver by default. Everything else closed down or was too big or too small, so Richard's filled in. And that was the thing that made Richard's: It was actually a lot bigger than it seemed. The Commodore holds just under 1000 people (depending on where you look) but seems massive. Capacity at Richard's was about 5-600 (good luck finding an accurate number) but was exponentially more intimate than the Commodore. It was nearly impossible to be in Richard's and not have a great view of the stage. The sound was good and it was seedy enough to feel like you were really at a show. It pretty much had it all.
Of course, "all" included a bunch of shit. Any decent show came with plastic cups for beer (including the final show last night). The floor was eternally sticky in an unnatural way. The smell in that place was inhuman, and nearly impossible to scrub from your clothes long after you'd left. The bathrooms were always flooded. The booze was expensive. Weekend shows were shuffled to an unnatural hour to allow the cheezeballs to get their dance on. But all that made it more special. Except for the early weekend shows, of course. Although, as I get older, I have learned to appreciate the joys of a show ending at 10PM.
But what's left? I'll still get excited about a Media Club gig, but their capacity limits the amount of things to look forward to here. The Biltmore is picking up but pretty much sucks balls. The Commodore...

So. This is a sad day, my friends. A sad, sad day.

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