Last show Sunday at Thunder Dome

`It had the feel of a poor man's Hammerjack's.'

Scene: Clubs/Bars/Nightlife

February 24, 2005|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,SUN STAFF

This weekend marks the end of a mini era for Baltimore's ripped-jeans and leather-clad heavy metal rockers.

The Thunder Dome -- which brought national heavy metal acts to Baltimore for a little more than three years -- is closing its doors.

The final concert is Sunday and goes from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. An assortment of 14 local and regional bands will play -- but the national acts that built Thunder Dome's reputation won't be there.

The club was sold in September.

The seller, Jerry Adcock Sr., could not be reached for comment.

New owner Vu Tan Huynh said the place will reopen in April as Club Mate. The new venue will have Latin dancing nights and hip-hop nights mixed in with some heavy metal shows.

Still, the Thunder Dome experience will be missed by many.

"The music that was playing there was music I grew up with," said Phil Pierorazio, 36, a longtime fan.

"It had the feel of a poor man's Hammerjacks," he said, referring to the original and long-defunct Baltimore nightclub.

He'll miss the music, but not the dark and gritty ambiance. "I always wondered why they didn't put more money into the place for better upkeep," said Pierorazio.

The new owner plans to revamp the club, adding a lounge area and improving the dance floor. "If I don't come in here, the ceiling might fall down," said Huynh.

It appealed to a certain set: "Thunder Dome was made for the stuck-in-the-'80s crew," said floor manager Michael Fey. "You saw more mullets there than anywhere else."

Fey recalled the national acts that played there, including Kings X, Bret Michaels and Vince Steel. But, he said, "the joke was we got them on the way up and on the way down."

Now, he believes other venues, including House of Rock in White Marsh and Baltimore's new Rams Head Live, will pick up the slack and book national bands.

Thunder Dome is at 3612 S. Hanover St. Call 410-354-4700 or visit www.thunderdomeonline.com. The lineup for the final show includes West Side Hero, Flipcide, Harbor Side, Out Reach, Fist Box, Living for Today, Revolution Theory, Splayde, Catatonik, Daynovo, Inverness, Burn System, Founded on Betrayal and Since.

For more club events, see Page 27.

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