It was announced this past month that the Magic Stick, home to all kinds of music acts, from national to local talent, would be transformed into a venue that exclusively houses EDM this spring. Word hasn’t been released on whether the name of the venue will change, but the $250,000 project will include new decor, furniture and dressing rooms, along with a bigger stage, new restrooms and additional service bars. This sounds cool in theory, but the grittiness that’s been the Magic Stick’s signature atmosphere will be gone, and for that, I must say I’m pretty bummed. So here’s my ode to the almost-late Magic Stick.
The Majestic Complex, which now consists of the Majestic Theatre, The Majestic Cafe, Garden Bowl, Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza, and the Magic Stick upstairs, was built in April of 1915, for the purpose of being a giant movie theater. Though the Garden Bowl has consistently stayed in operation, eventually the theater closed, and the space became a church, then a photography studio, and then became vacant for about a decade. The space was bought in 1984 and became what we know it as today. Both the Majestic Theatre and The Garden Bowl were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
Now, that’s enough of the history lessons. The Magic Stick is a small venue above the complex. It holds about 250 people with a bar, pool tables and a low stage. It’s been my favorite music venue in the city, and the state, since the first time I went to a show there in 2006. I’ve seen a number of acts there, from New Found Glory to their annual Punk Rock Formal, most recently, I’ve seen Mickey Avalon and Alkaline Trio’s Derek Grant’s solo act. The place isn’t glamorous, it’s far from that. The women’s bathroom has two small, sticker-covered stalls, which always require a wait to get into. When the crowd gets rowdy, the floor moves, and the large amps on the sides of the stage sway back and forth, making you think, “the floor might actually collapse this time,” but it never does. It’s a dirty, gritty venue, and it’s offers the most exciting, intimate place to see your favorite musicians.
The general public isn’t happy about this change, and neither am I. But the plan for change is in motion, and though there’s a petition going around to stop it, it doesn’t look hopeful. So I just want to urge everyone to take the chance to go get a cheap beer, and a slice of greasy pizza and see a rock show at this venue before it all changes. Even if you’re an EDM fan and can’t wait for a new spot to see your favorite DJs in Detroit, check it out how it is now. You can check out the upcoming shows at their official website.
View the original post at Challenge Detroit’s page.