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On The Scene 

by Clint Burgess

I had high hopes as I made my way toward Spokane's newest all-ages incarnation, the Detour. After all the hype and with a slew of radical shows lined up, it would be difficult not to be giddy. I approached the newly opened and revamped club and happened upon Dan Ryan, the club's booking guy. We mused about the new club and some of the difficulties involved in this new venture. "There's been a mixed reaction," Ryan said. "The all-ages crowd has been really supportive, the 21-and-over hasn't really come out." One reason for the slow start was the three-week delay in the club's novel liquor license. Ryan wants everyone to know that the bar is up and running.

So is the rest of the club. The space has been completely revamped, with the walls freshly bathed in rust-red paint, proper restroom facilities and a much-improved live sound rig. The crowd on Saturday was a little thin to start out, but it gained some numbers later on. I perused the over-21 area and found plenty of seating with tables adorned by bizarre paintings. One table was even graced with a disproportioned figure, compliments of Mel McCuddin. The venue certainly gave off a sense of space and openness, giving the patrons and the bands room to cut loose. The first band I saw, Rm 101 (Room 101) certainly took advantage of the space and crammed their eclectic brand of indie tunes into the collective energy of the crowd. The result was a feast of unique instrumentation and song characteristics. The band used up to three trumpets at times and a Rhodes piano to fashion swirling and spacey hooks that melted into fits of distorted guitars and driving bass.

Derrick Wright was enjoying the show and taking in the club's atmosphere. "It's definitely an improvement on the location," he said. "I definitely like what I've seen so far." And with what was to follow on stage, I had to concur. The headliner was Desert City Soundtrack from Portland. This four-piece tore up the stage with screeching guitars slammed on top of fragile piano themes all wrapped inside of a noise-infused delivery. Even more impressive was the fact that their drummer was a female -- and she absolutely destroyed behind the kit. Caitlin Love has been drumming for eight years. "I learned how to play drums by watching Dave Grohl," she said. She is wildly energetic in her attack and compliments the high energy of the band perfectly. The rest of the band put on a smashing display of dynamic songs and skillful musicianship. Look for a full-length release from Desert City Soundtrack in mid-November.

For those wondering if the Detour is worth their while, it is. This is a well-put-together establishment, and there are going to be some great shows coming up. Once the dust settles and the kinks are worked out, the Detour will be Spokane's premier venue of its size.

Publication date: 09/25/03
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