LAB may stop hosting concerts indefinitely

Zombie Queen performs on the LAB back stage as part of last year's DIG Fest. Photo by Whitley Albury via the DIG Asheville Facebook page.

In the wake of an incident that involved the band Young and In the Way spraying pig blood throughout Lexington Avenue Brewery’s Back Stage area, the venue may stop hosting live music events indefinitely.

Manager Benjy Greene told Xpress June 30,  “We have not made a decision whether we’re going to continue using it as a live music venue.”  He added: “There’s lots of other factors. We’ve actually been in conversation over the last year about this potentiality. … It’s undecided. But the room will definitely be closed for the next two weeks.” During that time, cleaning and renovations will continue, he said.

However, later that day, LAB Back Stage doorman Critter Thomas posted on Facebook: “I just lost a job and Asheville has just lost another venue.” He blamed damage caused by the Charlotte metal band, which covered the room in pig blood during their June 22 show, for the loss. “Because of your actions, I have lost a workplace, and Asheville musicians, comedians, and other performers have lost a great stage and a great sound system,” Thomas wrote.

Meanwhile, local musician Silas Durocher has cancelled his album release show, previously scheduled for August at the Back Stage venue. And DIG Festival, also scheduled for August, is in the process of rescheduling bands slated to play the LAB Back Stage. On July 1, local concert promoter Sam Katz posted on Twitter: “LAB has ripped their stage out and sold their PA, no more music venue!”

The front room and restaurant at LAB is now open and will be unaffected by any final decision on the Back Stage room, said Greene. He said that if the LAB stops booking concerts, the Back Stage room will continue to be used as a  venue for private events such as wedding rehearsal dinners and other parties. LAB does have a small stage in its front room where local musicians and DJs occasionally perform.

The Back Stage venue already hosts an average of 6-8 private dining events per month, Greene notes. “We actually do a lot more of those events than we do music events. … If we decide not to do music, than we would continue to use it as that type of venue.”


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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8 thoughts on “LAB may stop hosting concerts indefinitely

  1. I’m sorry the guy lost his job, but I’m glad to see Backstage finally shut down. Hopefully moronic bands like Young and In the Way will get the idea.

  2. Chuck Farley

    No loss here. The LAB has always been a lousy place to see a band play. I love the door guys self righteous attitude. Really sums up what I didn’t like about the place.

    • JamesT

      Not sure what was self righteous about it. It was a statement of fact. I don’t see any holier-than-thou attitude or moral indignation. Oh well, it was another music venue down.

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