March 1st, 2006



A few others have already posted about this, but I feel the need to repeat the bad news.

The Masquerade is gone.

It's odd how much you can grow attached to an establishment and not even realize it until it isn't there anymore. For me this seems to be particularly the case with clubs. DNA in Tampa, Netherworld in Gainesville, and now The Masquerade. Maybe it's the high density of memories both good and bad. Maybe it's a product of the social or "event" natures of the environment. Regardless, I always feel very much at home at a club, particularly if I've been there a lot. It's a pity that I go so infrequently nowadays.

The Masquerade is the first club I ever went to. What? 17 years ago? Damn. Different building, but still The Masquerade. My friend Eric dragged me and our friend Donald out one night during a time in my life when an exciting night on the town meant going to the bowling alley to play video games. Clubbing had never even registered on my radar at that time, so needless to say I was wholly unprepared for the experience. I immediately realized that I'd been missing an entire world.

To say that gothic/industrial clubs have had a formative influence on me would be an understatement. My tastes in music and clothes, my attitudes, and my social groups have all been heavily influenced by the subcultures that I've been a part of. I'm a very different person now than I was 17 years ago, and I think I'm a better person for the experiences that clubbing has opened up to me. It all started at The Masquerade.

It's not all good, of course. I've gotten into arguments at The Masquerade. I've freaked out over jealousy there. I've cried there. I've had far too much to drink there. I've had my truck broken into while I was there. I've probably lost some of my hearing there. On the whole though, going to The Masquerade was pretty much a guaranteed good time with friends and great music. I've been to more concerts there than anywhere else. The Sin shows that Keirston performed in were there. I could go on and on.

There are other clubs, of course. There are other clubs whose end has affected me more personally. But like they say, you never forget your first.
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