Web of music swept away

Adam Griffiths

Akron’s The Lime Spider closes its doors after six years of providing a venue for upcoming bands

Danny Basone, owner of The Lime Spider in Akron, is closing the venue partly because of poor attendance at shows. LESLIE L. CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The closing of Akron’s The Lime Spider tomorrow night will mean the end of many things.

For owner Danny Basone, it will be closing the door on the venue that he and his friends started six years ago.

“I’ve known for about six months that I was going to have a change,” Basone said. “In the last two months, I made my decision. I’ve just kind of separated myself from the venue.”

For others like 27-year-old Brad Thorla, who has worked there for a year and a half and has played the venue more than 30 times with various bands, it means the end of a job and “the best stage in Akron.”

“It was the place you got to hang out and have a good time, and then it was also the place that I got paid to hang out and have a good time,” Thorla said. “It’s by far been my favorite job.”

But guitarist and vocalist Sean Djuricic of the band Interfuse, one of three bands who will play the final 9:30 p.m. show, put it plainly.

“It’s going to be a dark day for Akron when the Spider closes,” he said. “It definitely holds a place in our hearts.”

Djuricic and his bandmates will join The Paul Sweany Band and Radar Secret Service in the final three performances to grace the Lime Spider’s stage tomorrow night. Over 21, it’s $5 to get in and $10 for 18- to 20-year-olds.

Declining attendance at shows was the official reason Basone gave for his decision to shut down the operation he started six years ago, but it’s more than that.

“I blame it heavily on media lately,” he said. “A lot of people watch stuff on the Internet. They get stuck behind the computer, as when I was growing up, we were going to bars, and we didn’t have that convenience. We went out and supported the music scene. Now we’re waiting for some new life, and it hasn’t been happening.”

He said the lack of bands interested in playing at The Lime Spider also affected his decision to close.

“Even a lot of the small bands are playing places like the House of Blues (Cleveland),” Basone said. “Those kind of places are eating up the good, small, AAA radio kind of bands. I’m guessing they can only do that for so long before they start seeing the crunch.”

To musicians like Djuricic, Basone and his venue were one of the few places left that “had an idea of what good music is and wanted to nurture it.”

“You play other clubs, they’re like, ‘You’re here. Get on stage. Thanks. Goodbye,'” Djuricic said. “(The Lime Spider) always had this weird feeling that it always felt like a little home. Everyone was there to experience something together.”

While the legacy of The Lime Spider may be on hiatus, the building at 207 S. Main Street will be reborn under Basone’s ownership. The Lockview, Basone’s new bar and grill, will open Nov. 1 to serve the young professional scene.

“I think we’ll get a lot of (our old audience) back, but I’m trying to cater to the crowd that isn’t going to stay out until 2:30 in the morning,” he said. “We just want to be a little different than a sports bar, not having a loud DJ or karaoke. We’re going to have gourmet grilled cheese, but it’s not going to be too cheesy.”

Basone said he’s not giving up on the local music scene in Akron. He plans on re-evaluating the scene in a year or two and isn’t throwing in the towel on The Lime Spider’s future.

Like Basone, who was unemployed and broke when he proposed the idea for The Lime Spider to the building’s owner, Charlie Thomas (who also owns Ray’s Place in Kent), the bar holds memories for both Djuricic and Thorla that won’t soon be forgotten.

“It’s like music nerd-ville,” Thorla said.

“My whole circle of friends came from that bar,” Djuricic said. “It’s a big loss. I don’t know where we’re going to bring in any of the national acts. It’s hard to explain. Maybe it just felt like our own little clubhouse.”

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Adam Griffiths at [email protected].