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Hell’s Kitchen is closing down. Normally, I try not to use profanity when writing, but this F*****G SUCKS. It sucks big time. Hell’s Kitchen was a badass place to be, and I’m pissed off I only got to experience it for the few short months that I’ve been here.
The Kitchen was like a second home to me. I loved playing there. Moving here with my band from Missoula, MT, I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t have any contacts for booking, promotion or anything. A random acquaintance (at the time), Cricket, put in a good word for me at Hell’s Kitchen, and without hearing a demo or anything they were willing to book us. The staff made us feel right at home, so much so that we felt like we were playing at a house party with good friends. And that’s really what the Kitchen was all about. Good people, good friends, and good times.
I played Wednesday’s show with mixed feelings. The anxiety and rush of performing mixing with my sorrow over losing a favorite venue was a potent mix in my mind. Knowing that it was the venues last show and how much Hell’s Kitchen means to so many people made me want to do right by them.
While playing a show, you pick up certain energies from the crowd. It’s almost like you’re helping them lift off the burdens of life that they’ve been carrying. It’s the coolest feeling in the world. Wednesday night, I could just feel how crushed everybody was about losing that place. While people were in the pit and watching the show, I could see the annoyance and frustration on their faces, and knowing that nothing I could do on the stage would lessen those feelings really bothered me. People really cared about that venue, and they were there to show their support.
Hell’s Kitchen closing it’s doors is just about the worst thing that could happen to the Tacoma music scene. There’s absolutely nothing else even remotely like it. Sure, there are other venues in Tacoma, but there aren’t any other metal venues. There’s no where else that people can go to get that feeling of brotherhood that you can only get at a good metal venue. And that’s exactly what Hell’s Kitchen was. A good metal venue. A damn good metal venue.