Thursday, April 26, 2007

Alley Cat will make other venues step-up

Alley Cat will make Charlotte’s live-music scene better.

I know co-owner Andy Kastanas, and I've heard the guys say they’re not a live-music venue and they’re not trying to compete with Visulite Theatre and Amos’ Southend. But whatever.

The club has a main stage, a sound system (that need more bass), and room to dance; they also have a smaller stage outside. More importantly, they serve food, and they’re in the heart of uptown. Plus, Savis -- who co-owned the Steeple -- is Alley Cat’s manager. He did a heck of a job booking acts at the Steeple, and he loves live music.

All of that spells trouble for Visulite, Amos’ and the Neighborhood Theatre when it comes to competing for acts that draw crowds of about 700 people or less.

Here’s what I envision: In the first six months, Alley Cat will build its fan base and focus on enticing people with cover bands on Saturdays. On Fridays, they’ve said they will book bands that play original music. I’m guessing they’ll start with local acts, which means those local acts won’t be available as much to play in the other venues. Eventually, I can see Alley Cat going after the same touring regional and national acts that go to Visulite, Amos’ and Neighborhood.

So they will be bringing the same ol'-same ol' acts uptown that already stop by the other venues? Why is that good? That’s exactly what I thought when I first heard about the concept.

But that means Visulite, Amos’ and Neighborhood will have to bring different acts to survive and flourish. I’m hoping these club owners are going to be more willing to book acts they wouldn’t have considered before, from hip-hop to Latin to country to rock genres I don’t even know about. Maybe we can get the same mix of shows that go to the Cats Cradle in Carrboro or the Orange Peel in Asheville.

Two questions: 1) Do you think Alley Cat will improve live music here? 2) What are some of the acts that you would like to see come here? Post your replies below.


Anonymous said...

Alley Cat will be a cover band/frat rock venue that fits the clientele already there and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm surprised there hasn't been an uptown live music venue like this earlier. Me? I'll check it out every now and then, but I'm sure it will be a party venue instead of a place to appreciate a band. Can you really envision Antiseen or Type-O-Negative playing next to BAR? I'll stick to Tremont, Amos' and Visulite for the good stuff (and the free parking).