Busting The Myths Of Lubbock Music
The past is often seen through rose colored glasses and when it comes to the Lubbock music ‘scene’ those glasses are particularly thick. Let me state this up front and for the record, the Lubbock music ‘scene’ has never, ever been better than it is right now. I’ll start rippin’ stories apart right after the jump.
First let’s talk local bands. Never in Lubbock history have there been more opportunities for locals to play. There were more clubs (more on that in a minute) but there weren’t as many chances for locals to play in front of large audiences. Next, bands are able to get better and easier exposure and gigs. For instance, Colossus of Rhodes is playing Six Flags this weekend and more and more bands are doing mini circuits between Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland, Austin, Dallas, Wichita Falls and so on. Big Lubbock bands from the past, like the Nelsons and Impeccable never had a chance to branch out that far.
Next there’s the clubs. Oldster’s will tell you about “The Rox”, Fat Dawgs or even the Depot Warehouse. These clubs were all very small in comparison to Jake’s, Wreckers or the Pavilion. Fat Dawgs for instance held maybe 250 and the limit on the Warehouse (even though it was often broken) was supposed to be 600. The Pavilion is 1400. and I’m pretty sure Jake’s matches the Warehouses 600. The Lubbock Coliseum held about 6500. The Spirit Arena holds about 12,000 and the Lonestar Holds about 8,000. The Lubbock Coliseum didn’t even have air conditioning and it was life or death going to concerts there.
Oldsters will also tell you about the days when The Clash, Stevie Ray and U2 played clubs here. So what, there were a small amount of bands that included us on their tour schedules, but quite often they opted for Amarillo and sometimes even Midland instead. Now days we get pretty much every band in rock at some point in their career. Even better, people show for the shows. More people saw Hurt over the weekend than Stevie Ray EVER played to in Lubbock.
“Lubbock used to have great festivals like the Tornado Jam”. Yep it did, and we have more people at every Birthday Bash and every X-Fest. The “Tornado” Jam also had very little to do with local heros. Ely had already moved to Austin, the Maines Brothers had a bit of a spotlight, but everybody really went when they heard who the “surprize guests” were. Let’s also keep in mind that the sound was sh*tty and the show was over when the sun went down. The biggest Tornado Jam had Ely, The Maines Brothers, Linda Rondstat and Joan Jett. By comparison, the FMX Firecracker Five had Linkin Park, Slipknot, Mudvayne, Papa Roach and Disturbed. Heck I’d venture to say that Carnival of Madness with Evanescence/Chevelle/Halestorm and more is more bang for the buck than any Tornado Jam.
Lubbock also used to have a “sound”. Yeah it did, everybody tried to sound like Joe Ely. As you may have noticed, sounding like Joe Ely didn’t even work out too well for Joe Ely. There were some hot sh*t blues players around too...that also didn’t matter.
I’m also not interested in any “city sponsored” sanitized music festival for any reason. You will never get the city to put together anything that is anything more than an expanded Cactus Theater show. Guess what, nobody cares. These type of festivals are ‘family oriented” which means they want grandpa and grandma to not be offended. Well, grandpa and grandma don’t go to shows anyways. Still, we’ll never get anybody with any ‘heat’ or ‘edge’ as long as the same old people are booking the same old acts.
So in summation, there used to be more bands but they weren’t as good as the ones we have now. We used to have more clubs and different venues but we have bigger ones now. We used to have festivals but they sucked on many levels, Lubbock is a has more medium to large shows than it ever did, by FAR and most importantly Lubbock people turn out to see quality bands on a more regular basis than they ever did.