the crocodile : soundcheck, check

It’s difficult to understate the degree of the transformation at the Crocodile. But at last night’s soundcheck and preview, there were at least two familiar sights from the Crocodile Cafe (RIP) among the otherwise extreme makeover that is the Crocodile:

new sound board


old pole

The (new) Crocodile is, as everyone else has already said in more and better words, a beautiful new showroom. Gone is almost every piece of dingy kitsch, hanging paper-mâché sculpture, worn-out furniture, neon sheep, and eerie black light. In exorcising them, the club’s new owners found miles of high ceilings (so much so that they could fit in a mezzanine poster paradise with a skylight) with exposed beams and wood everywhere, space for two green rooms (that have bands raving), spacious bathrooms with marble sinks, a makeout nook [!], a giant stage situated opposite a large bar. Except for the second level, the layout reminds me a lot of the club on the new web series Rockville, CA (which is really just the Echoplex). It feels warm and roomy and the higher stage means better sightlines from all over.
Oh, and the three bands — among booking agent Eli Anderson’s local favorites — sounded great in the new room. The only minor hitch was that due to late-breaking liquor permits, the bar started low on alcohol (beer only) and ran out fast. The crowd, a mix of die hards, music insiders, and curious onlookers, thinned appreciably after the wells ran dry. Luckily, 2nd Avenue has no shortage of bars. For instance, between sets Shorty’s seemed a whole lot like the Crocodile Cafe’s back bar that I loved so much, with bands, fans, and other less glossy Belltowners filtering in for drinks.

More pictures — including the Quiet Ones, Hypatia Lake, and the Kindness Kind — in the opening night photoset. [flickr]

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