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The Grove is poised to become St. Louis' next big entertainment district — and not everyone is happy 

Doug Moore and Brad Fratello’s patio and pool backs up to the rear wall of the Ready Room.

Steve Truesdell

Doug Moore and Brad Fratello’s patio and pool backs up to the rear wall of the Ready Room.

On June 24, as hundreds of fans entered the Ready Room — a new 800-person-capacity music venue on Manchester Avenue in the Grove — they were greeted with a warning sign: "Tonight's show features excessive volume levels. Hearing protection available at front door." The experimental-rock group Swans would soon treat the audience to one of its brutally loud and viscerally exhausting performances — a sweaty, two-hour set of heavy guitar drone and chest-thumping bass.

Next door at the Demo — a much smaller sister venue which opened its doors in May, just a month after the Ready Room — rock group the Paul Collins Beat christened the stage along with fellow pop-influenced bangers Sherbert and Bruiser Queen.

Inside the two venues, the crowds roared their approval. Outside, it was a different story.

"Throwing two bands in a blender is what it's like to be in our back yard," says Grove resident Brad Fratello.

Click here to read the rest of this week's feature story in the Riverfront Times.

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