Magnificent Millennial: Remembering Lubbock’s Liquid 2K Club
A pang of grief hits me as I cut through a grass lot, walking northbound from my parking space into the Depot for a drink, dinner, or to catch a show. Clipped, manicured, green, and gated, this lonesome space, purportedly for community events, is in reality an enormous grave. And it is with reverence and sorrow I remember what is buried there. My very happiest moments as a teenager and young adult.
Here lies Liquid 2000, the best club Lubbock ever had. Sure, she had some identity crises- you may know her as Tequila Jungle, South Beach or by any other of a handful of names. She shared the space with other amazing venues, chameleons alike, but I remember them as The Warehouse and Einsteins (a latter location of another legendary club).
I asked friends to remember the shows they saw at L2K and was met with a tidal wave of their joyous memories. We saw so many bands well before they "broke"- we saw as opening acts Disturbed, Slipknot, and Mastodon. I remember involuntarily screaming out of sheer pleasure when Mastodon, who had already won me completely over, strummed the opening riffs to The Melvins Queen.
We saw outsider and extreme artists back when Lubbock was still prone to clutching her pearls- GWAR, The Genitortures, and Lords of Acid. We also saw the shows that would define us as a unique musical culture, as who among us didn't see The Toadies or Joe Ely multiple times?
Many of my friends cut their musical teeth on that stage, and I envy that experience. That venue was built to heighten the drama of any act- with a large mezzanine framing the ground pit area, multiple bars, and a tall stage. Drama did manifest on that stage- we saw Wayne Static lose a tooth to the headstock of a bass guitar.
There are too many wonderful and wild stories to recount here, and far too many bands to list that graced that stage. However, I do want to focus on my most special night at L2K- the night Garbage performed.
I was very overdressed. Large, red sequins on my sheath dress caught rays from every overhead light and shot colors back at them. The night was filtered with the wine my best friend had smuggled in the night before. We took giant gulps out of the bottles hidden in the back of the toilet tanks. They just don't make commercial toilets like that anymore.
As the night progressed a sea of people flooded to the front of the stage and my lights were extinguished by a crush of bodies- it was so tight that my feet weren't touching the floor. I started to panic as I was so deeply at the mercy of everyone around me. It was then that Shirley Manson looked at my friend and me from her place on the stage and asked the crowd to step back and "don't crush my party girls." I belonged there. I had the right to take up space there. What an incredible feeling.
All things move toward their end, even scintillating gems like L2K. It is the most beautiful thing that from the decay of one rises the blossoms of others- there are new, different places to see bands here in Lubbock, and I am so grateful. I frequently find myself at Jakes or The Garden- underdressed, older, and able to stand where I please without help from anyone. But I'd be lying if I said I don't miss being a Party Girl.
Thank you so very much to everyone who contributed their memories to me. It made me very, very happy.
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