Local music fans in Charlotte this weekend are losing an old friend: Tremont Music Hall, which is closing after 20 years.
Penny Craver founded the club in 1995, in an old industrial building on West Tremont Avenue in Charlotte’s South End. Since then, it has hosted a long list of big names, both before and after they found success, from Green Day to John Mayer to metal band Primus. It’s also where many local bands got their starts.
Garrett Foster, of the local band Messenger Down, says: "It’s Tremont Music Hall so there’s the excitement there, but it’s comfortable. And it feels like home, so you’re not nervous to go on stage and you really kind of get into your element as a performer, and grow on that stage, more so than on any stage I’ve been on in my entire life."
Craver sold the Tremont to Dave Ogden in 2004, and he passed it on to current owner John Hayes in 2010. Now Hayes is shutting the Tremont, as the building’s owners get ready to sell it for redevelopment. Hayes said on "Charlotte Talks" this week that he considered trying to buy the building himself, but the price was out of reach.
It’s the second gritty local music venue to close this fall: The Chop Shop, off North Davidson Street in NoDa, closed last month to make way for redevelopment.
Craver once helped run another music club, The Milestone on Tuckaseegee Road, but had bigger aspirations.
“You know there’s a lot of arts in Charlotte, but at that time, there was not a lot of alternative arts. We were going to be the “it” place for alternative arts and the music and we kind of ended up being that for at least a few years," Craver said on WFAE's "Charlotte Talks" on Wednesday.
The Tremont’s final show is Saturday night, headlined by bands Antiseen and F DUX. Listen to a conversation with the club’s owners in a “Charlotte Talks” that aired Wednesday.
See also http://www.tremontmusichall.com/