I was 18 and freshly moved out of my dad’s house. I moved up to The Twin Cities for school and swore I would never look back. I tried to act like everything was fine but, the truth is, those first couple of months were terrible for me. I was terrified to be on my own and really didn’t know what to do, where to go, or who to turn to. That’s when I found The Triple Rock.
The Triple Rock Social Club wasn’t just a venue, it was a home. It was a place that welcomed me with open arms when I was utterly lost and overwhelmed those first couple of months that I lived in the Twin Cities. I had no friends, didn’t really know anything about the local scene and sure as shit hadn’t found myself at that point but The Triple Rock changed all of that. Within weeks I had a whole new group of friends and had immersed myself in the Twin Cities local music scene and started the long trek that is “finding yourself”. I went from being this lost kid who was in way over her head to the person that I am today and I honestly have this venue and the people there to thank.
The venue was never glamorous. I don’t know that they’ve ever had a locking stall door in the women’s bathroom on the venue side of the bar. As soon as you walked into the “old bar” side you would be greeted with the smell of stale beer and probably a couple of people who had one too many drinks and were slouched over in the pew-like seating. You could literally see the dust built up on the padding that covered the ceiling of the venue side and, if the bass was bumping enough, you could watch as that dust showered the crowd. It was what a rock club should be. It was about the music and people– not about the look.
The crowd tended to match that whole un-glamorous vibe. You didn’t get all dolled up to go to a show at The Triple Rock. It was very much a “come as you are” type of place and that’s exactly what everyone did. I showed up countless times having not showered in a couple of days, knots in my hair, no makeup, and puffy eyes from exhaustion but I was always greeted with hugs and drinks from friends. They didn’t care what I looked like and neither did I. It was more important to everyone there (staff included) that you had a smile on your face and a beer in your hand (if you drank) rather than makeup on your face.
Over the past ten years, I’ve seen a little bit of everything at this club. From sold-out shows to shows where it was the door guy, myself, and maybe five other people. Regardless of how busy or slow it was, the feeling was always the same. I knew that if I was having one of the worst days of my life, I could go down there and everything would be a little bit better once I walked through those doors and left my baggage at the door. It didn’t matter if I knew the band that was playing, if there was a band playing at all, or if I knew anyone down there. It was a place that you could wander into on a whim and end up having the time of your life.
It didn’t matter who played last night’s show. I mean, obviously it was a treat to see Negative Approach play and who wouldn’t kill to see Dillinger Four play the final set at the venue that they literally “made” (it’s actually owned by Erik Funk- guitarist- and his wife). But, in the end, it really didn’t matter. Last night was more about all of us misfits and outcasts spending one last night in the place that made us feel safe and the place that we called home.
I could write for days on this one post. I could write about all of the amazing bands I’ve seen at this intimate venue or talk about how I made some of the best of friends there. How about I tell you how I’m going to miss the way the stage hit you right at the knees so, if you were in the front at a rowdy show, you would leave with giant nasty bruises on your knees that would be worn like badges of honor the next day. I used to be scared to death of the door guy- Pete. Whenever I saw his New Balance shoes through the tinted window as I walked up, I would start to freak out because I swore he didn’t like me… hell, it seemed like he didn’t like many people… but we got to a point where I didn’t even show him my ID anymore, he knew me, I knew him and there was one time we even held a conversation outside between bands (yeah, that’s something I bragged about for days). There were all those nights that I spent a wee bit too drunk and the staff would make me sit there and chug water for hours until I was spending more time in the bathroom than at the bar. Oh, oh, oh– can we talk about the amazing food there?! I’ve been essentially living off of the vegetarian po’ boy for a couple of years now. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to have another PBR in my life without being instantly transported back to The Triple Rock.
Everyone has their own memories from The Triple Rock Social Club. Everyone has their own favorite show and favorite staff member. Everyone’s favorite things about this place differ but one thing is constant– this was our home and it’s shocking and devastating to see it go. The crowd was left just kind of standing there after Dillinger Four left the stage. It was like nobody wanted to move because moving towards the door would mean the end of an era for not just the venue, but also for yourself.
I was 18 when I stepped foot into The Triple Rock for the first time. I’m 28 now. It’s been ten years of great food, legendary music, and the best of people. I can not thank the people that made this venue what it is enough. I was lost when I first walked into the place and, although I have yet to truly find myself, I’m a little bit closer to knowing who I am thanks to all of the people and experiences at this second home of mine.
12:24 AM, Wednesday November 21st, 2017. That was the last time I was ever in The Triple Rock Social Club.