Frankly, and possibly needless to say, The Spin was reluctant to attend Thursday night’s final event at Nashville’s most notorious all-ages haven, The Muse. Black clouds hovered ominously overhead, and by the time we found a parking spot next to the World’s Largest Adult Book Store, the sky was illuminated with neon-purple spiderwebs of electricity so large it freaked us out a little. Were we to die at The Muse on this night of all nights? If so, we were going to be pissed.
To say it’s the end of an era could be exaggerating. Given the impermanence inherent in youth culture, The Muse has seen several eras come and go. Those of you who waxed teary-eyed on your timelines, Twitters and on our post about The Muse's closing were very obviously not in attendance. Rather, we were greeted out front with a huddle of youngsters (some of their faces painted) clad in over-sized novelty shirts, leather trench coats and sports jerseys. A freestyle rap battle ensued. It’s safe to say The Muse last night may have been the first place we've ever heard the word “Juggalo” tossed about with complete sincerity.
We walked in to find the place a little more dilapidated than we remembered — but wasn’t it always that way? They had the finest beer selection we’d ever seen there, and were serving up Little Caesar’s Hot-n-Readies a la carte. We ordered a PBR, realizing how sleazy it feels to swill a beer next to unaccompanied minors with exposed midriffs, and remembered when The Muse had public computers. We used to check our Hotmail accounts on them. So, that’s a memory.
In the back, The Reverse Halo Effect was performing what looked more like a sound check with the room’s brilliant florescence burning overhead. We’ll be fair and admit almost anyone would forfeit a good bit of ambiance and stage presence competing against those things.
Next up was Wicked. No, not Wick-It, one of Nashville’s most bad-ass instigators. Perhaps oblivious to Wick-It's existence, Wicked was instead a solo horror-core MC, all of 5’5” and 18 years, rocking the mic with tales of murder, lust, murder, fucking people up, getting fucked up and also more murder.
Following almost immediately, and overshadowing the former by about two feet and 100 pounds — accompanied only by a prop pig’s head resting on a mic stand — Stitch Mouth convinced the place to turn off the house lights so he could rock the room properly. Unfamiliar as we are with local Juggalo culture, we could still ascertain this guy is a rainmaker in his field, gathering by far the evening’s largest crowd yet and commanding mad props all around.
With our visit clocking in at just over an hour, we’d seen three bands, met a generation of new misfits who’ll have to find some place else to party, and said goodbye to place we’d never really planned on going back to in the first place. Then, when did we ever? Not so much one last hurrah as the simply the end of the line for this place, it was as nostalgic as the last night of anything should be, we suppose.