By Drew Ailes
By Mabel Suen
By Drew Ailes
By Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen
By Kenny Snarzyk
By Dave Geeting
By David Thorpe
By Ben Westhoff
"It is a bittersweet irony that I bid the Hi-Pointe adieu the same week that I dropped that amazing young man off at college. Both journeys (raising my boy and being fortunate enough to have been the matron of madness at the Hi-Pointe for just shy of two decades) have transformed and enriched my life more than I could ever express... it is with great sadness and gratitude that I wish you all a very heartfelt goodbye."
Andris wasn't any more willing to reveal specifics when reached by phone. She says she's selling the PA and light rig but declines to say whether she's selling the business "I'm not at liberty to say that." For that matter, she wouldn't clarify whether she actually owns the business and declined to supply contact information for the building's owner, explaining that they "don't like publicity."
Michael Litz of Cinnamon Partnership, which owns the building at 1001 McCausland Avenue, is slightly more forthcoming. The company, says Litz, "is leasing it to a new tenant." Contrary to the rumors, Litz says the building has not been sold and isn't for sale. As for the change in tenants, "It's a business decision from the standpoint of the landlord. All that's happening, the current business is closing and a new tenant is moving in."
Will it continue to be a music venue?
Litz: "No clue."
"People keep asking me, 'Are you going to move it?'" Andris says. "I said, 'Probably not.' I don't think I could ever duplicate the Hi-Pointe anywhere else. I always called myself the Matron of the Madness."
She's right: As the final shows demonstrated, there's no way anyone could recapture the grit, grime and, well, glory of the old club.
With the closing of the Hi-Pointe an event that comes not long after Frederick's Music Lounge, Radio Cherokee and Velvet shut their respective doors it's not surprising that music-scene morale is lower than it has been in a long time. The number of places where local musicians can play out is dwindling; national tours now have even fewer choices when they consider coming through town.
This may sound cheesy, but it's time for clubs, bands and fans of live music in town to join together and work together to help the scene. Book locals, approach national booking agencies and managers about bringing quality acts to town and above all, don't get discouraged. And heck, go out! Clubs need patrons to stay open; don't just toast final nights, go places on a regular basis to help the venues stay afloat.
It's tempting to simply throw up one's hands and write off St. Louis and the scene as hopeless. But bands here have given up gigs to help out other bands (Rats and People and Strawfoot, tip of the hat), and people scrambled to reschedule Hi-Pointe shows elsewhere.
As music lovers, we're all in this together or as Finsta says: "We're losing the Hi-Pointe, but we're just going to elevate the game to another level. It's up to all of us to let it live on."