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Oh, the bittersweet memories -- hooking up with that nose-ring girl at the Bash on Ash, getting your teeth kicked in at the Nile, seeing some of the greatest local talent around at Neckbeard's. . . . If you're like most Phoenix music lovers, you've probably lamented the loss of more than a few of your favorite venues. Luckily, with two new places opening, The One Place in downtown Phoenix and BulldogZ Bar in Glendale, concertgoers can look forward to spending late nights in new digs making fodder for "remember when" stories in years to come.
Right off Roosevelt Street and down the street from the beloved Modified Arts, The One Place began hosting shows late last year and is already starting to bill national touring acts. The home of a hip church on Sundays, The One Place just might be the next "must play" all-ages nightspot for bands to be seen in Phoenix. At least promoters think so.
"It's like a cleaner, nicer Modified Arts," says Gavin Linderman, co-operator of Z&G Concerts. With a capacity of 250 people, The One Place has already hosted local favorites like Threat 77 and Desole, and is attracting larger touring acts like Terminal (Tooth & Nail), Meriwether (GVE Records), and L.A.'s As Blood Runs Black. Linderman isn't the only promoter to catch on to the new venue.
Stephen "Psyko Steve" Chilton's upcoming event, "Oh Shit! A Fest" -- a gargantuan festival with more than 35 bands -- will stretch across the stages of five local venues, including The One Place. "It's a great place to see bands," Chilton tells New Times.
Being a seasoned promoter, Chilton has a good idea of what kids want -- and where they want it. "The scene really needs places that can hold 100 to 200 kids, especially on the west side," he adds. Considering those views, Chilton was happy to hear from New Times about the newly opened BulldogZ Bar, and for good reason: BulldogZ holds 400 people and is on the west side. On Camelback Road just west of 51st Avenue, BulldogZ Bar is an all-ages metal/hard rock venue complete with a 21-and-up bar.
"I kept hearing from people on the west side that they wanted a heavy music bar," says owner/manager Tommy Gibbons, who kicked off the new nightspot last week. Upcoming shows include an appearance by F5, the new outfit from Megadeth's former longtime bassist Dave Ellefson.
So while venues have continued to close around town, these welcome additions mean new life for the Phoenix music scene. "It's great when people invest in the scene. It's hard to do, but without it, the scene would die," says Chilton.
Not only that, but the slice of scenester humbugs who complain at shows and on local message boards about the lack of cool places to see bands would be right. Thankfully, for now, they're sorely mistaken, and that just might be the best news of all.