In some ways, the bands playing The Dame this weekend suggest that nothing has changed. But, of course, everything has changed.
It seems fitting, nonetheless, that two acts that regularly frequented the music venue at its former (and now flattened) West Main location will help inaugurate its rebirth on East Main.
Tonight, the Knoxville-based Talking Heads tribute band Same As It Ever Was – which played the former Dame location numerous times, including last New Year’s Eve – will headline. On Saturday, local indie fave Big Fresh – which began the year with the release of its party power pop album B.F.F. (Big Fresh Forever) – will hold court.
And that, said Dame talent buyer Nick Sprouse, is literally only the beginning.
“We have a larger capacity,” he said. “So in the next few months, you’re going to be seeing bands larger than what we had before. Of course, we’re still trying to adjust some things as to how it’s all going to work down here. As we open, we’ll definitely be doing some tweaking.”
The capacity on the Dame’s concert hall space is approximately 500 (the old location accommodated about 400). But even that number is deceiving. The Dame is taking both sides of the former A1A club, including its next door dance venue.
“One of the problems we ran into at the Dame is that we did both DJ stuff and live music shows back to back. Here we can have them in separate rooms. They won’t be going on at the same time, of course. But it will be easier on the artists not having to stop at a certain time and for the people who are coming down just to dance.”
Sprouse said the dance club will be more of a multi-purpose facility that may be used also for comedy shows, live theatre, film festivals and maybe even larger concerts. It will also double as a lounge when live music is in motion across the hall.
Major name national concerts at the new location haven’t been announced yet, although word of one may come this weekend. Sprouse said he is already considering concert bookings through next April. A full lineup of confirmed concerts at the club’s new location is listed at www.dameky.com.
“I’ll still be booking the local bands we had before. But with a little more space, we can aim higher. And the booking agencies are pretty excited to have us back in the market. With us being gone, there hasn’t been much of a chance for any nationals to come into Lexington. So they’re thrilled to have us back.”
The Dame’s reopening weekend will feature Same As It Ever Was tonight (9 p.m., $7) and Big Fresh on Saturday (9 p.m., $6). Call (859) 231-7263.