The Oldest Continuously Operating Music Venue In Deep Ellum Hosted Its Final Show On Sunday, And It Said Goodbye With One Hell Of A Party.
The Curtain Club closed its red velvet curtains for the final time on Sunday night — or, well, more like Monday morning, if we’re being honest.
After 22 years at the corner of Crowdus and Main, it was the oldest continuously operating music venue in Dallas’ music-rooted Deep Ellum neighborhood.
Judging by the size and palpable emotion of the crowd in attendance at the venue’s last-ever concert, it’s clear that this space won’t be forgotten any time soon. The performers on this night certainly will remember it fondly, as their own eulogies for the venue, shared earnestly from its stage, centered around how much they loved the venue, how much they would miss playing that stage, and how they viewed Curtain Club’s employees and the regulars as more like family than friends or acquaintances.
The jam-packed night certainly wasn’t lacking performers who’d cut their teeth in this room. Long before dusk, Monkeyshyne’s layered harmonies kicked off the night with a fun set that really set the energy and theme for the whole night, with its members pointing out family members out in the crowd and, at one point, even prompting one of their siblings to hop on stage and join them for a spell. EagleSnake followed, offering up a mixture of melody, metal riffs and hectic to help transition the crowd to the harder sound that would follow throughout the rest of the night — fitting, considering Curtain Club’s longstanding reputation as one of the last bastions of hard rock music in Dallas.
Dagger Club continue the night’s vibes along those lines, tearing down the walls between the stage and the pit as lead vocalist Peter Thomas (formerly of Slow Roosevelt) jumped into the pit and released his guttural screams in the face of anyone and everyone who would allow it. Faded Grace somehow managed to follow that act with a tight performance of its own that served as a fine testament to the fact that, despite its rough exterior, Curtain Club was never just a boys club, as so many outsiders would often assume.
DownLo (featuring Trees, Canton Hall and Bomb Factory owner Clint Barlow on drums) took the torch from there, performing a fiery set that featured C.J. Pierce (from headliners Drowning Pool) guesting on guitar. By the time Drowning Pool hit the stage, the pit had been whipped into into a frenzy, which the band took full advantage of by playing its biggest hits to a sea of raised cell phones and happy Dallas metalheads.
Later, DownLo and Drowning Pool kept the party going, extending Curtain Club’s life a couple hours by performing second sets for the crowds who waited outside the venue, unable to get into the sold-out show. Of course, this second offering has another purpose too, functioning as an excuse to get as many Curtain Club friends and family — past and present — onto stage to sing along and celebrate this one last night at home. The sheer volume of people on stage as Drowning Pool closed the room down with a stirring rendition of its 2001 hit “Bodies” was a sight to be seen.
It was the perfect scene for closing the curtain on a legendary music venue.
Really, the same could be said of the whole night, and how respectfully it ended arguably an entire chapter in the Dallas music scene, featuring a broad selection of acts that proudly represented all that Curtain Club had provided Deep Ellum throughout the years.
Come to think of it, HBO should’ve hired Curtain Club majority owner Doug Simmons to write the ending to Game of Thrones. Because, I promise you, everyone who was there will forever look back at this venue’s finale fondly.