It was the end of an era. Last night marked the final night of Spaceland Productions being housed in their long-standing space in Silver Lake. In 1995, Foo Fighters played the opening night of Spaceland and last night, they took the stage as the last show at Spaceland as we know it. The venue will now become the Satellite and longtime Spaceland booker Jen Tefft will take over, and things shouldn't change to much with the venue. But, we're still a little worried. For those of us who have spent many years visiting Spaceland, there are some grimy, sorta kitschy details that we hope won't get made over in a venue facelift. As Spaceland exits the venue and it now becomes the Satellite, here are 10 things we loved about Spaceland:
10. Smoking Lounge
For a few years there, Spaceland had a smoking speakeasy in the back room, where lung punishers could congregate and discuss how expensive cigarettes had become. Now that smoking has vanished from bars in L.A., each journey into the aquarium of smoke was like entering a time machine, venturing back good ol' days, when bars could had the power to asphyxiate. Those were the days.
9. Cheap Tickets
Spaceland has largely kept its ticket prices under control over the last 15 years, and somehow they've consistently employed front door ladies (and sometimes dudes) who some times will forget to take your money entirely, especially if you know them, or they're lost in the depths of text messaging.
8. The Egg
As a rule of thumb, don't look at the floor at a bar. You never knew what/who you can be standing in/on. But at Spaceland, er, the Satellite, just once, take a look down at the dance floor. It's an egg. A space egg. So next time a crowd of dudes with crossed arms and ladies are swaying to some band, gaze downward to behold the egg.
7. Two Bars
Every now and then, you (certainly not me!) could perhaps make a scene at one of Spacelands bar. Don't worry, Bar Fails happen to the best of us. Let say you accidentally knock a drink back into bar, or a pickup line goes horribly, horribly wrong and you have to scurry away as fast as you can, that's when Spaceland's axillary bar comes in handy. It's the ideal place to hide out and regroup for your second attack.
6. The Curtain
Ah yes. The Spaceland curtain. Part Roy Rogers, part Evel Knievel, part Liberace, it's been the backdrop for bands since, like, forever. It somehow makes every show feel like it's in your highschool auditorium, but in that good way. It feels comfortable, and unpretentious, like a community theater. And it helps to make the venue instantly recognizable whenever it's featured on a movie or TV show.
5. Montri Auto
The big yellow auto shop next to Spaceland is basically an extension of the venue. Whenever a session with a flask and some friends is necessitated, Montri's front parking lot became Spaceland's outdoor patio. There you can lay low by a 1983 Volvo that needs a new catalytic converter, or maybe stand in an oil puddle while you sip whiskey and wait for your favorite band to come on.
4. The Radar Dishes
If you position yourself in the exact right position under the radar dishes in Spaceland's back room, you can experience one of science's most badass phenomena: Parabolas Mothafukkaaaaaahzzzz! That's right, fucking science. If positioned in the right spot, you can hear conversations happening from across the room. Typically people are just talking about Facebook, but every now and again you'll hear some juicy goss about who gave what to whom. And then, just as you hear that beefy tidbit, you realize, somewhere, someone in that room has been listening to you too.
3. Late Shows
For some reason, shows at Spaceland would always start super late. Typically that's a bad deal when you have work in the morning, but at Spaceland it made the true fans have to earn their show. By the time the final act came on stage, only the true believers were left in the audience. The poseurs have long left for Taco Zone.
2. The Back Stage is Too Small
Spaceland's back stage area is pretty tiny. It has basically no place to hang out in once a band has stashed its gear in there. This makes it so bands would typically hang out in the audience or out front, where fans can actually hang out with the musicians (and corner them to implore unceasingly about what their band name means). Also the super small back stage makes it difficult for band members to sexile one another from the “green room.” (If you've managed to bone down in there, you need a gold medal. Let us know in the comments).
Spaceland's Monday night is an Silver Lake institution. It is one of the best ways that a band can get the local exposure they need to break to the next level. And for locals, the residency was the ever present something-to-do if you wanted to extend your weekend by one more day.
What are some of your Spaceland memories?