Farewell to Bad Dog and Plush: Photos

Bryan Sutter
Dave Grelle of the Feed puts a bow on the final show at Plush. See more photos here.

Dr. Seuss once wrote, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." No offense to the Cat in the Hat author, but we're going to cry about Bad Dog Bar & Grill and Plush closing anyway. There are plenty of wonderful things happening on the St. Louis music scene right now, but losing these two venues is like a kick in the face.

Bad Dog and Plush both are dear to us here at RFT Music. Bad Dog has welcomed guests of every ilk, hosted some of the most locally and nationally recognized fetish contests and performances, and was one of our featured venues for punk music during the 2014 RFT Music Showcase. Likewise, Plush has brought in amazing touring artists, gave St. Louis musicians and comedians a great stage to showcase their talents, and featured one of the best sound engineers in the city (RIP, Mikey Teesdale).

Both bars ended their runs in style -- with memorable, booze-filled blowouts, of course. Plush called it quits on January 3, while Bad Dog's ownership ceased operations once its New Year's Eve celebration was in the books. But something is afoot that may help the Bad Dog bark in the future, so stay tuned! For now, check out a few of our favorite photos from the (presumably) final nights at each bar, and see more Bad Dog photos here and Plush photos here.

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The Floating Laboratories Experiment Ends

Categories: DIY, Venue Closing

Courtesy of Floating Laboratories
Floating Laboratories, the community art space and DIY music venue with a focus on experimental and multimedia art, is officially closed. It hosted film screenings, poetry readings, video art and non-traditional music. Kevin Harris, artist, space benefactor, live-in curator and operator says, "My main interest is in electronic, research oriented music, sound design, sound art and technological innovations in analog and digital synthesis."

The final performance on July 21 featured Tory and Venus Starbuck, Adrian McBride, Dr Mabuse, Joe Raglani and Harris. "It was the ideal performance," Harris says. "It was the type of music I wanted to focus on and a nice sit down performance where everybody really concentrated on the music."

Harris opened in the venue in 2009 with the sole intention of it being a personal work space, yet it quickly developed into a public entity and DIY venue. "I was making music designed for performance and so were other friends of mine, so we started having little shows. A few friends of mine are pretty serious promoters of this type of music and it seemed the right place to invite people that were touring," Harris says. Floating Labs was voted RFT's Best Underground Club of 2010.

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The Vault's Final Show: The End of an Improbable Music Venue in Farmington

Cassie Kohler
Kerry and Tim Smith outside their music venue the Vault located in Farmington, Missouri
Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost, the Hooten Hollars and Rum Drum Ramblers rocked a full house Friday at the Vault. The crowd was an amalgamation of twenty-somethings to retirees to families. Children ran under legs. Everyone mixed between dancing up a sweat and savoring the performances with a theater like reverence from the seats. All the while, they sipped on Schlafly products and scarfed gourmet, locally raised hot dogs served with Billy Goat chips. Painted brick walls, open duct work and metal staircases enveloped the event with old factory charm. "We haven't been this packed in a long time," says local and house photographer, Steve Hull. Although the Vault's style seems right out of Saint Louis city, this 80 person venue, owned and operated by Tim and Kerry Smith, is actually nestled in the middle of Farmington, Missouri. Or it was. Friday's show was the Vault's last.

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R.I.P. The Complex: End of a Big Gay Era

the complex.jpg
If you've been recharging your party batteries in preparation for Pride this weekend, you're not alone, but there's an end of an era celebration tonight that requires your immediate attention. The Complex is closing after 21 years as a mainstay of the LGBT community. Tonight, there's one final, splendiferous drag show to send it off in a blaze of rainbow glitter glory.

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Summer Bummer: The Wedge Is Closed (Again)

Categories: Venue Closing

the wedge.jpg
If you read yesterday's Vinyl Fight post and got excited about trying your hand as a backseat DJ, get out your hankies -- it was announced today that the Wedge is officially closed.


For the second time.

The first time, if you'll recall, was almost exactly a year ago, which is almost eerie. But hey, they beat the odds once -- maybe it'll happen again!