Meridian: A Retrospective Of Better Days

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Mark C. Austin
Kings of Leon at Meridian, 2006
The Meridian Saga seems to have ended, after close to a year of weirdness and shady business dealings. In the past twelve months it went through overhauls, new management, lockouts, changes in image, mild scandals, and even a name change. Remember Wired Live?

Tuesday on Facebook the club said goodbye to Houston, signing off just a few years shy of a decade. It was a fun venue when it was being run correctly and there was star power onstage, but once the familiar faces left with a bad taste in their mouths, it wasn't such a great place to see a show, no matter who the artist was.

The Rocks Off team was at most every big show the Meridian offered up for the past four years, whether in the capacity of a fan or a critic. The shows were excellent, most of the time, and the pours were always tall and strong at the bars. Damn you, D'Neta, you made us another double Jack & Coke.

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Mark C. Austin
More Kings of Leon
This Rocks Off cat had been visiting the Meridian long before we started writing live reviews. We remember taking the little brother to see Lars Frederiksen & the Bastards while we were still ailing from a hernia surgery. We sat enthralled watching TV on the Radio on their Return To Cookie Mountain tour, when we felt the floor would cave in from dancing. Seeing one of the first Kings Of Leon appearances in Houston was a special moment too.

It was in September 2006, and the band had just put out their second LP, Aha Shake Heartbreak. This was two years from "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody" and nearly selling out the Toyota Center. Caleb Followill was sick that night and could barely get through the show without shots of honey and whiskey. That night they played early stabs at songs from the next year's Because of the Times, which was arguably their breakthrough album, at least in the FM radio world.

Going through all these old blogs covering events and concerts at the Meridian, we realized how much Rocks Off the blog has grown, and we guess to an extension, this member of Rocks Off has grown as a writer. In the early shows the writer took the pictures, until we built up enough steam to hire a photog team.

This club, however sad and odd its ending was, brought a lot of people joy, from the Red Room to the main room, to the smoking pit to the helpful bartenders and staff. - Craig Hlavaty

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