Games Meet Metal: Oh, Harpo's, what has become of you?

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh, Harpo's, what has become of you?

Harpo's was the first music venue I went to that gave me the "dark and seedy" version of concert going. Before that, it was arena shows with Metallica and Pink Floyd, and it was also 1994. Now I'm in a shithole. My feet are actually sticking to the carpet, the air smells of fermented booze and bong smoke, and skinheads are walking around in gangs. The fuck? This is not a happy place to be! And to think it looked like this at one time.

And now, it looks like this:

That's over half a decade separating those photos, and still the same shitty doors. At least they had the sense of mind to sweep up all the broken beer bottles, heroin needles, and hobo poop. Yet, I continued to go for well over a decade, because Harpo's was one of the few places where metal bands could play and make a decent pay day, so they always went there. Never mind the fact that security for the place was a joke and it's located on the east side of Detroit, which is pretty much the modern day equivalent of a DMZ.

Even as much danger as the place was (even had a car stolen from there), I have some incredible memories. Hanging with friends. Seeing Dimebag for the last time. Meeting Kerry Fucking King and Jeff Fucking Hanneman! Even then, I predicted doom for the place. After Dime was shot, security improved, but was still lackadaisical as all hell. Plus the sound system is aging rapidly, the curtains for the stage are in tatters, and the bathrooms..... you know? I'm not going to talk about the bathrooms. Just picture the worst bit of human waste you can think of, then multiply it by 20. Then put it all in the ladies room.

Now, my fears have been confirmed. The Harpo's web page has updated their next set of acts. I'll just say that if this is the quality of acts that are gonna appear there from now on, I think they're seriously fucked.

Really" Blessed By A Broken Heart? How did this emo crap get in there? Bleeding Through's gonna be there, but the only positive thing there is lead-in band Born of Osiris, who are riff-tastic. And Soil? Saliva? What, did someone go in my head and pull out the worst roster of bands ever? Where's the usual heavy hitters? Well, simple answer: they went to better places.

Live Nation came in a few years ago and laid some heavy green on a few venues, improving them ten fold. One of them, Saint Andrews, is pretty much a micro-brewery with a stage now. Other places, like The Majestic complex and Clutch Cargos, did a good job with their upkeep. Then there's the new venue Blondie's. I haven't been able to go there yet, but their line-up blows Harpo's away. Maybe because bands won't fear their gear getting stolen or their fans getting robbed at gunpoint.

So, how long does Harpo's have? Eh, maybe a few more years, and even that is a conservative estimate. I;m betting the economic slump hit them hard, thus they're forced to bring in the emo crap and let Overkill go somewhere else. In the end, I think they should close. It's best days were before I was even born, and it's been going down the crack head hill ever since.

In closing, here's a clip from Corrosion of Conformity's dvd that they filmed at Harpo's, in which I got to show my ugly mug in, Definitely a happy day for me, since I got to be in it.

1 comment:

  1. I remember this video from 1up a while back. Speaking of metal live acts, I still need to pick up that Hatebreed DVD where I was in the Curtain Club in Dallas while they were filming. Still don't know if I'm in it.