There’s no question that Morgantown has a bustling and exciting music scene. It seems that there’s a new act announced every week, whether it be at 123 or Mainstage.
Mainstage opened just last year. Anyone familiar with the venue will know it used to be the less popular Chic-N-Bones. Since opening, Mainstage has brought in some pretty big name acts. Perhaps the biggest name to be announced, Animal Collective, will be taking the stage this fall.
When Mainstage opened their doors, they “vowed to change the local music scene“. However, did the scene really need changing?
123 Pleasant St. has been pulling in big name acts since they opened. Bands like The White Stripes, Black Flag, and Red Hot Chili Peppers are just a few that have played the stage of 123. Recently, Balance and Composure played at 123 (and the high schooler in me was squealing during the entire show). In May, punk rockers Titus Andronicus will be coming to 123.
It’s obvious that we at The New ‘Motown’ love the music scene here and the rich history that our veteran venue has. I’ve heard people say that 123 and Mainstage have been trying to compete, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true.
I’ve been following the lineup announcements that Mainstage since they opened, and most of the artists have been very heavily influenced by EDM (Electronic Dance Music). While, as listed above, 123 holds a wide variety of shows – anything from punk/post-punk, alternative, jam band, folk, and don’t forget their weekly open mic nights.
Since their opening, I haven’t seen Mainstage host a single open mic night. They also haven’t hosted as many local bands, with the exception of a few Manor and Friends shows.
What I’ve drawn from the two venues lineups is this: they’re appealing to different crowds for different reasons. If you love bigger names in the EDM/rap scene, then Mainstage is the venue for you, while you can get a smorgasbord of wonderful local and national performers at 123.
I believe these two venues can live in harmony. It’s wonderful that Mainstage is getting people out to shows that normally wouldn’t attend a concert, but it’s extremely important not to overlook the credible music scene that 123 has built up over the years.
What do you think? Are the two venues competing? Let me know in the comments.