To what base uses we may return, Horatio
Alas, poor Distrikt! I knew it, gentle readers. A club of moderately-priced alcohol, of most excellent live music. It hath borne me in its audience a thousand times. And now how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. There sits that stage that I have watched I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your drinks? your songs? Your flashes of entertainment that were wont to set the eardrums on a roar?
For those of you who don’t get enough Shakespeare in your literary diet, this is a eulogy for The Distrikt, a staple of live music in Regina. Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15, marked the last weekend the club at 1326 Hamilton St. opened its doors to the public. This ended a thirty-plus year run as a venue for live music in the Queen City.
The club opened in 1979 as The Schnitzel Haus. The Hungarian-owned restaurant rented out their backroom to punk-rock acts on Monday nights. Legendary acts like The Extroverts, Subhumans, and what would eventually become Northern Pikes all cut their teeth at The Schnitzel Haus.
Since 1979, the club has seen many incarnations: Channel One, Antilles, and The State to name a few. And now in 2012, it stands, and will finish life, as The Distrikt. Over the club’s thirty-three year run, countless thousands of acts have called their stage home, even if only temporarily: Queens of the Stone Age, Marianas Trench, and Cannibal Corpse again to name but a scant few. The sound may not have been the best inside the club, but no one can argue that it had some kickass bands through it over the years.
When The Distrikt closes its doors for the last time, it will be converted into a fitness club, one more reminder of the perversion of the arts in this fair city. Whether or not you’ve ever been a patron of The Distrikt, I think we can all agree that Regina could use one less fitness and health indoctrination clinic if it means supporting great musical talent, which is plentiful here.
Raise your glass for this toast, this eulogy to a fine local club that was taken from us far too soon. Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night sweet Distrikt, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.