RIP Music Box? For Good?

Fitz and the Tantrums at the Music Box by Marc D'Amour

(**Update, Goldenvoice just released this statement: “At this time, it is our understanding that the closing of The Music Box is a short term closure, please be patient with us as we work out the details as they pertain to our previously scheduled shows.“** Thx to Buzzbands for the tip)

I use my Twitter feed like my morning newspaper and today I saw a note from The Scenestar, Oscar Rangel, about the closing of the Music Box (which I STILL call the Henry Fonda Theater.) LA Weekly scribe Lina Lecaro has  details on what happened on her blog LA Slush, a piece written by Diamond Bodine Fischer, who makes it pretty clear that it’s over for the beloved – and recently renovated – music venue:

“Today, they entered the beautifully decorated lush establishment, put a “Closed for Inventory” sign on the door and proceeded to dismantle the amazing sound system, astounding in house lighting and bar. Then remove them from the building.”

Ugh! That is pretty painful to read.

I instantly thought of the last show I saw there – a sold out gig with Phantogram where, for the first time, I got to stand in the sound booth so I could actually see (I’m 5’2”). I also saw my first My Morning Jacket show there, with Jim James now classic knee slide across the stage. I danced my bum off to !!!. I saw Devo on their recent tour. And those are just the first ones that came to mind.

If you have a special Music Box memory, share it below. Would love to be reminded about shows I’ve probably forgotten about!

RR

Comments

  1. chandeliers summer fiction
    May 19, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Glance complex to more brought agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  2. furz
    January 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

    TELEVISION reunion show. mind blowing! another "I can't believe its really happening" moment at the box!

  • Debi

    I've been there so many times and my hands down fav is The Radiohead Benefit for Haiti show. I will never see them in that intimate setting again. The renovations were needed and were perfect. Maybe that's what did them in?

  • Jeff Tweedy played two shows around Valentines Day there in, I think, 2005. I went with some of my best friends, and though it was a shhhhhh quiet kind of show, you could hear each person in the venue trying not to sing along. Eventually — if memory serves, it was during "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" each night — everyone would just let it out. I cried during that show. Sad to see the 'Box go.

  • joey zaza

    My last show there was We were promised jetpacks in Nov. Saw so many shows there including Empire of the sun, Neon Indian, and many more. First show there was The Streets many years ago. It will be missed.

  • That is terrible news.

    One of my favorite times there was slipping downstairs to chat with SOKO about her upcoming show w/ us at SXSW. She played a very special version of "My Enemy" with nothing but an accordion and suitcase for an audience of two – Me and the cellphone cameraman!

    Twice I saw Nouvelle Vague get rowdy on stage to "Too Drunk to F**k," and this past year's Architecture in Helsinki show totally blew me away. I've not seen hipster Los Angeles dance so unabashedly – perhaps ever!

  • Tiffany

    I saw Justin Townes Earle this past year there. It was my first time at the Music Box and when I walked in, I immediately fell in love with the theatre decor and the intimate setting. This is really sad news to hear. I was looking forward to catching more shows there.

  • jenn

    There will ALWAYS be a warm spot in my heart for Green Day on June 4, 2009. Gosh that band is amazing and in that room they were just about perfect. And Bob Saget stood next to me the entire time and knew every word to all the old songs. Bummer news for a Friday.

  • stunninglunatic

    Can someone please explain why this awesome venue is closing? Fuck the memories!

  • Laura

    Amos Lee — twice. I loved the venue — great location. And the big secret was the seats upstairs if you were of a mind to sit and listen…

  • jen

    I got to see a lot of great shows there – especially two bands that I REALLY love – The Circle Jerks and TV on the Radio. Totally fun and great venue.

    Say it ain't so HF Theater aka Music Box!

  • Chris Hardeman

    Saw Daniel Lanois (and Edge showed up). What a beautiful show that was. We were front row. I also saw Damien Rice back in the day. I remember he played one song in the pitch black. Great memories. I will miss seeing shows there.

  • Rob

    I've only had fond memories of the Henry Fonda. One that stands out involves Donald Glover's recent show there. The entire cast of "Community" came out to support him. People complain Los Angeles is an overgrown and impersonal city. Glover's show was an example of why I disagree so passionately with this sentiment. People coming together to support good music. To support community. A beautiful scene in a beautiful venue.

  • David Loredo

    Wow… that sucks. My last show there was Phantogram too and I too still call it the Henry Fonda. Ive seen so many shows there. Maybe the Palladium will be the spot to go to again! I miss going to shows there!

  • Nick

    From the blog… "According to one of our sources after the Pee Wee Herman shows were moved from the Music Box to Club Nokia, two of the three owners opted to sell their shares and leave the business – again, not uncommon for venues in LA. When the new owners were brought in nobody informed the landlord of the change. It was only after the death of one of the past owners that the landlord became aware. For months the current owners and the landlord clashed until finally, the landlord served an eviction."

  • Sasha

    I saw TV on the Radio and Broken Social Scene at the Music Box – both were great shows. I also have tickets to see Nada Surf in March…I wonder what will happen with that…

  • Anna Trumbo

    Last show I saw there was M83 with Active Child opening. I was there at least every other week–I live so close and I love going next door to Blue Palms for beer and fish tacos before showtime. That was one of the most fun shows of 2011 for me. The energy, the obvious fact that the band was having the time of their lives, the sound, the excitement in the audience. It's a staple of my live music life in Los Angeles, and it has been for some time. This is terrible news and I only hope that whatever venue ends up taking its place can begin to compare.

  • CARLO

    AW MAYN, i saw so much good shit there: Snoop Dogg, X, The Rapture, The Presets, Ratatat…

  • I was front and centet at that Phantogram show last year! Ive seen some of my favorite artists there. Just last year I saw (in addition to Phantogram) St. Vincent, Lissie, Ellie Goulding, and Childish Gambino. Music Box is (was?) one of my favorite venues because it didnt matter where I was (floor or balcony) I had a great time at every show there. This is sad news indeed.

  • So many favorite memories from when Spaceland Productions used to run the show before Goldenvoice scooped up promotions at the venue. Seriously one of Los Angeles' best places to watch a show. My last show there was Morrissey before Thanksgiving but some that do stand out was Radiohead's Haiti show playing all the hits along with their amazing poster for the show. I was also dying from a fever but pushed myself to go to Nine Inch Nail's "final" show at the venue. I was out for a week after in bed but well worth the effort. Also when Interpol played two shows there a long time ago was the first time I ever attended an afterparty or been backstage before the new look it has. Too many memories! I hope that this isn't the end and that the venue will reopen to many memorable shows to come.

  • I saw the Dodos and Imaad Waasif open for The New Pornographers there with my dad in 2010, and it was one of the best concerts I've been to, and one of the best nights of my life. I really hope the closure isn't long term, the LA music scene can't afford to lose such a historic site.

  • Will

    I used to drive from the OC to catch shows here with my then-girlfriend. Will definitely miss the Music Box… and my ex. Guess this makes it a bit easier to move on…

  • Lisa

    Best Mermory of the Music Box ……The CRAMPS New years Eve 2002!

  • mary c.

    KCRW has Presented so many amazing shows at the Music Box over the years- Grove Armada, M83, Kings of Convenience, Beach House, Fat Freddy's Drop, Lissie, Raphael Saadiq, Frightened Rabbit and too many more to name. Three of my highlights happened this past year with a packed house of intensely focused music fans:
    Beach House – There's something special that happens when you hear "10 Mile Stereo" live — shivers
    OMD- When it came time for "If You Leave," you could hear the entire crowd singing along. It was magic.
    Paul Simon – This was my first time seeing him live and it was definitely worth the hour wait to get in.

    I really hope a music fan and swiss bank account holder scoops it up and turns the lights back on.

  • As a lover of old theaters and great architecture of LA, I hate to see a place not used! Fingers crossed that this is just a change over in production companies or some such thing and will not be permanent! Michelle
    Board member of LAHTF.org

  • There are too many amazing shows to mention just one, but I'll always have a warm spot in my pants for the Animal Collective show there a few years ago with Lucky Dragons. I certainly hope this is a temporary closure as the venues sound is among the best in LA.

  • Kevin Ponthier

    I don't know where to start…Peter Hook, Flying Lotus, My Morning Jacket, X…we live in a big city with many venues but…this one is/was special! Full house every time I was there…

  • Eric J. Lawrence

    I have to admit that the Music Box is not one of my favorite venues in town – even with the sound upgrade I felt it still was a little too barn-like and the sightlines left much to be desired. That said LA needs a music venue of that size and location, and it will be near impossible to replace, if truly gone. I do have fond memories of many shows there though – getting to introduce Sparks and Gang of Four; seeing Magnetic Fields (with seats!); a truly multi-media event with The Books; great shows from Ben Kweller, OMD, the New Pornographers, Devo, Super Furry Animals, and so on.

  • Tessa

    @Chris Hardeman I’m pretty sure that Damien Rice show was at the Wiltern. The one in 2004 touring for O?

  • David B

    This is terrible news! Loved that venue and loved being in the seats upstairs. Last show I saw was M83. What a great show to see there. This has always been such a great venue to see live music. Hoping someone with music savvy and understanding that great sound and lighting are essential to great performance will take over such an outstanding venue.

  • furz

    TELEVISION reunion show. mind blowing! another "I can't believe its really happening" moment at the box!

  • Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Glance complex to more brought agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?