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Hardcore all ages

The Viaduct fills a niche in Tacoma

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It should come as no shock to those who read the Weekly Volcano that the South Sound has had a tough time maintaining all-ages venues in the past few years. With Manium facing serious city issues in Olympia and the Alamo receiving a less than warm welcome in Tacoma, the South Sound under-21 set has been without a home of its own for the better part of two years. Of course there are “all age friendly” clubs like Hell’s Kitchen, but the reality is that they are a bar, and all-ages shows at such venues face curfews, and the awkward mish-mash of children and adults in various levels of lucidity commingling; not to mention many straightedge and hardcore bands refuse to play venues that sell alcohol.

There have been some short-lived venues in the area, which for whatever reason have vanished rather quickly. Some have faced internal opposition that hampered their longevity, some have found resistance from the adult-oriented bars, and some have had security problems. The Viaduct appears to be devoid of these problems. The people behind such short time Tacoma venues as The Junkyard, The Frameshop, and The Hall, have gathered their momentum, and put their efforts into opening the Viaduct by channeling their collective experiences and knowledge of the local music scene into one, cohesive effort.

The days of a lack of adequate venues for underage shows may have come to an end. Friday, Dec. 7 the Viaduct opened its doors at 5412 S. Tacoma Way. The venue, collectively run by a small number of young adults involved with the local hardcore and straightedge community have provided a alcohol/drug/racist/homophobic free environment for all-ages shows. The venue offers ample room for midsized touring bands and will house a print shop and practice spaces in its second floor as well as a store front/record store in the near future.

The venue, which is steadily booked through next April, caters largely to the burgeoning South Sound hardcore scene. As hardcore has become MTV friendly and increasingly popular, the anticipated crowds ought to help keep the venue afloat. If the Dec, 7 show is any indication, there will be no problem paying the rental bill for the young venue.

the safety of the venue. The building, a former storefront, is spacious, free of major obstacles, and in a well lit area of town. Parents can rest assured that it is a safe venue, and judging by the number of parents bringing their children to the venue’s first show, a certain level of trust has already been established by the club and the community at large. It should also be noted that, for the most part, the venue is run by a group of individuals closely tied to the straightedge scene. I point this out only to emphasis that alcohol and drugs will not be tolerated in the venue.

I, myself, being in my last gasp of my 20s, enjoyed the venue thoroughly without even being a fan of the bands that performed. The all-ages atmosphere and excitement that surrounds a good hardcore show is electrifying to put it mildly, and I am certainly glad that South Sound youth finally may have found a place to call their own.

The Viaduct can be contacted through the great equalizer of communication, MySpace. The venue is currently soliciting for local street artists to help paint and decorate the interior in a manner that will reflect the attitude and aim of the venue. If you cannot make it to a show, and would still like to support the venue, they have set up a donation system on their MySpace page.

Upcoming shows

Thursday, Dec. 27: I Declare war, They Come In Swarms, Left Alive, Acies, 7 p.m., all ages, $5.

Friday, Dec. 28: Sirens Sister, Man In The Blue Van, Destruction Island, Cavalier, Foray, 7 p.m., all ages, $6.

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