The LA Times is reporting, via their Buzz Bands blog (monitored by the fabulous Mr. Kevin Bronson), that the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana will shut it's doors forever in two weeks. Set to take its place, according to the LAT: a 25,000-square-foot club called RevolveR, which will "cater to upscale clubgoers, offering multiple rooms of entertainment, myriad VIP areas, fireplaces, indoor/outdoor seating and eight full-service bars. Additionally, plans call for RevolveR's design theme to change every few months -- sort of a planned makeover."
Apparently it's part of a countywide club-opening spree spearheaded by the restaurant/nightlife conglomerate the MOR Project, which will also soon debut the Rustic Vine club at the Irvine Spectrum, as well the Irezumi Sushi Lounge in Costa Mesa and Fleur de L'age in Laguna Canyon.
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We assume the Times' report is accurate, as a click over to the Galaxy web site reveals a slate of cancelled shows for March, April and May (though some have been moved over to Galaxy owner Gary Folgner's other club, the Coach House, in San Juan Capistrano), plus, a Feb. 21 Agent Orange/TSOL/DI bill is being called "the Galaxy's final punk show." The venue's final, final show goes off Feb. 22--a death metal extravaganza featuring Athens, Greece black metal band Rotting Christ. (duuude!)
I'm actually bummed about this. I've often thought that the Galaxy was the best place to see live music in OC, ever since its opening in 1995 (basing my calculations on the Times' 13-year-old age estimate--though I could swear the place bowed around '91 or so, but hey, I'm old). The Galaxy had plush, comfy, half-circle booths arranged amphitheater style, so all the sightlines were terrific, and if you wanted to get closer to the bands, the floor immediately in front of the stage was always open for standing. Capacity was a cozy 500 (though on some nights, like that surprise Beck show right around the time of Odelay, you'd swear that there were well over 1,000 bodies in the joint). Other shows that come to mind: Wilco's first tour in 1995, John Hiatt, and, of course, the Weekly's fifth anniversary party in 2000--or was that a Best of OC bash?
Don't know the "why" as of yet, but I'll have to guess that the Anaheim House of Blues, as well as the Grove, had to have siphoned off the touring bands significantly in recent years. Which makes sense, because as nice as the Galaxy was, those rooms are just a lot nicer -- hell, if I was a road manager, I know where I'd rather put my bands in. I hadn't been to the Galaxy in years, though, even in my waning years as the Weekly's Music Editor, but I certainly did notice as a large preponderance of death metal bands, tribute acts and what seemed like monthly appearances by Robin Trower began to fill the Galaxy's calendar. I'll miss going there--but only a little bit.
Besides, for us Weeklings, there's already a positive in all these new MOR Project rooms: MORe grub for our food writer, Edwin Goei, to review!