Violence Closes Greensboro’s Blind Tiger

Posted by Greg on Apr 21, 2022 in Music, Op-Ed |

I never like getting personal on this thing but well, damn it, sometimes it has to happen.

Some people know this and others might be in for a shock, but let’s just get it out into the open. I went to college in North Carolina because of the music. Oh sure there’s hundreds of other reasons I chose my alma mater but in the late 90s the Carolina music scene was riding the coattails of the likes of Hootie + The Blowfish, Edwin McCain, Athenaeum, Far Too Jones, Sister Hazel and many others At the same time I was finally investing quality time in country music and knew that NC was a state that embraced it way more frequently than my Long island suburb. Heck at 41, much of my musical input these days still draws very much from those five circular acts. All of which leads me to the headline above.

The Blind Tiger has temporarily shut down. According to numerous articles (including the one referenced) two shootings in less than a week have promoted an investigation into uncovered code and safety violations. In 2022? How is this even acceptable? Whether its the Bataclan in Paris, The Station nightclub fire or The Pulse massacre and Christina Grimmie shootings here in my backyard, the idea that concert-going is still in great danger, despite these events, is truly astounding.

Since my freshman year at Elon (1999) the Blind Tiger in Greensboro, NC was one of my favorite places to hang out. I saw Far Too Jones’ final show there, I saw Athenaeum there a week before the band later called it quits. I saw Chris Daughtry in a band called Absent Element there. Years before he launched Port Merchandise, Alex Lawhon played there solo. And heck I’m just thinking of artists from my own six years in the state (1999-2005). There are probably countless more stories about the impact The Blind Tiger has had on music-lovers throughout the Southeast and beyond.

And then you see a headline like this. And what do you say? How do you feel? For starters it makes me weep uncontrollably. I’ve had a short fuse my entire life. Its not something I’m proud of nor something I wear with a badge of honor. In fact it’s just the opposite. It’s an unholy attribute I willingly having to rebuke. And then a headline like this pops up and you wonder, what in the world has happened to America? Why are we so angry? Who d we love our guns so damn much? Why is violence always the first next step?

The Blind Tiger news first hit early last week via Billboard and I was gobsmacked. It has been 20+ years since I’ve called The Blind Tiger. Neighborhoods change, demographics change, venues change. These days it appears The Blind Tiger is a hard rock club that has welcomed the likes of Pop Evil, Tantric, 10 Years and others. But to know the Carolina rock scene intimately and to know this place’s history is just devastating beyond words.

Every day is a chance at a new tomorrow. For the Blind Tiger and its neighbors I sure as heck hope that new day is soon.

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