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Rock Venue News That's a Few Days Late

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 2, 2006 7:36PM

The outdoor music space formerly known as the Tweeter Center (giggle) has changed its name to something even more ridiculous. The Tinley Park “shed” is now known as the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre.

2006_03_switcheroo.jpgYou might also think the space has changed ownership, too. What was once clearly marketed as a Clear Channel property is now billed as a Live Nation venue. But a few clickthroughs at the Live Nation website will soon lead you to the Elevated Concerts site, which should sound familiar to Chicagoist readers as the new name of Clear Channel’s concert business.

In its former life as the World Music Theater, the venue was responsible for some less-than-cool-but-nonetheless-formative rock experiences in Chicagoist’s life (including Meatloaf and a Styx reunion show) as well as some genuinely historical occurrences (the mud fight at Lollapalooza, anyone?). But now that we've lived in the city for several years, it’s no longer on our radar. Mainly because they only seem to book bands our parents want to see (Michael McDonald, Jimmy Buffett) along with the occasional angry teenage boy fest (Ozzfest, Warped Tour).*

A little closer to home comes news of an upscale rock club opening soon near Union Park. NewCity clued us into Cobra Lounge, which plans to feature live music around St. Patrick’s Day. Formerly the site of the G&Z Restaurant, the spot will have a late night kitchen and…a VIP room? Look, we know there’s a rocker girl inside even the most vapid of wealthy socialites, but the whole concept of a VIP area seems antithetical to the vibe of every other Chicago live music venue. Sure, some clubs have a roped-off area for the occasional groupie or radio station winner but a Puffy-style champagne room seems a bit much. But we’ll reserve judgment until we’ve, you know, actually seen the place. Thy reporting will be done.

Finally, speaking of Lollapalooza, an internet presale of $45 three-day passes sold out in 34 minutes today. Yeah, we had no idea either. Perhaps there’s something to be said for giving one’s personal info over to electronic mailing lists (though signing up last year didn't get us the goods this year). More tickets and the lineup will be released on March 16th.

* Thanks to this post on the Sound Opinions board for an early look at the 2006 lineup.