Tuesday, October 11, 2005


My favorite venue in Philadelphia is The Trocadero Theater, an 1870's vaudeville house in what is now Chinatown. Through neglect and indifference, and a fifty year stint as a porno/kung-fu grind house, it has entered the 21st century a rare survivor from it's age.
Almost completely intact inside and out, it is a crumbling, delightfully eclectic monument to post Civil War romantic excess; a musty time capsule. Entrance is through multiple pairs of tall narrow glazed doors capped with arcs of leaded glass in Juicy Fruit colors; lyres, urns, and masks of comedie and tragedie. The lobby retains mosaic floors, broad stairs with sweeping railings above gourd like baulasters, deeply paneled walls and pilasters picked out in arnished gilding supporting thickly coffered ceilings. In the domed auditorium, reed thin Corinthian cast iron columns support horseshoe balconies edged and festooned with robustly cast moldings, wreaths and swags. A tent of nylon mesh above keeps chunks of the frescoed ceiling from raining liability lawsuits down on the crowds below. On show nights, national and international touring acts occupy the former burlesque stage. When the hall is dark , a bar and smaller stage in former function rooms off the first balcony form a showcase for local and emerging alt/hipster entertainments; playing their dues while imagining headlining glory on the venerable stage below.

Bob Mould played there last thursday, after the previous night in NYC. Best buddies Jill and Joe accompanied me to the show. We were delighted to run into my furry friendly pal Vinnie; Bob fans all. Veteran singer/songwriter/guitar legend Mould is a hard working performer, diligently laboring to insure that ticket holders have a good time. Jill and Joe had a ball that night, grateful for the experience, and Vinnie confided that he'd never imagined that he'd see quite such a performance, or have such a good time doing it.

Thanks Bob.
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