By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
This Friday night's Sons of Hermann Hall show is a can't-beat ticket: Sorta, Pleasant Grove and Salim Nourallah on one bill. It's as if my favorite bands in the city decided to throw a party...that happens to cost $10.
This Saturday is the Vans Warped Tour, where I'll be heading for the afternoon along with a few thousand of my closest skater punk friends. (I'll be the one with the Mohawk and the band T-shirt.) Among the 50-odd bands playing at the Smirnoff Music Centre--including Bad Religion, New Found Glory and Simple Plan--are Dallas acts A Faith Called Chaos and Minority, the Plano foursome whose ages add up to, um, mine. Thanks, Minority. Thanks a lot.
That night, Trees celebrates its 14-year anniversary with a killer lineup, including members of MC5 (see feature story on page 81), Supersuckers and Denton's Riverboat Gamblers. For more about the anniversary, keep reading.
Five Questions With...
On Saturday, Trees turns 14. That's no small feat for any venue, far less one situated in Deep Ellum, where fads and hot spots change as fast as hairstyles. Part of the club's success can be attributed to Scott Beggs, a talent buyer who has worked with the venue on and off since 1996 (he currently works for Charles Attal Management). As the man who books Trees and Gypsy Tea Room, Beggs may be the keeper of the most coveted guest list in downtown, but he is first and foremost a music fan.
In eight years, what's the best act you've seen at Trees?
You're kidding, right? The closest I could get would be a tie between Rancid in 1994 and the Toadies. Not a fair question.
And the worst?
I don't know, but I bet they played on a Tuesday night that cost $3 to get in the door.
Give me a favorite memory.
The first time I was truly amazed at Trees was a Flaming Lips show in 1996 when the band had Christmas lights--thousands of Christmas lights--all over the stage and club. We needed a generator just to power the Christmas lights. I regret I didn't have a camera ready to catch the 900 jaws simultaneously hitting their chests.
How has the venue changed over the time you've been working with them?
I think we have tried to treat bands and customers with more respect than when we started. Times have changed; the crowds are less rough than in the past. I am not proud of the fact Kurt Cobain was beat up at Trees.
What's kept the club alive for so long?
Trees never married itself to one genre of music. I think Trees has done its best to uphold high standards set by [original Trees talent buyer and Dallas Observer contributor] Jeff Liles in 1990 to book the best talent available, regardless of style. Also, Trees has always been fortunate to have a staff that is proud of their club and enjoys coming to work every day, even when the talent buyer books a crappy band. It happens.