RIP - The Masquerade
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….
Chances are if you’ve been in the Tampa scene any number of years, you have seen at least one show at the Masquerade. Well, as of February 25, 2006, the Masquerade is closed. Another place of metal history, of friendship and booze, of mosh pits and headbanging is closed. The Masquerade housed just about every act, something for everyone. No matter where you were standing, it was always a great spot. No matter what the show, you were guaranteed to be with at least 100 of your closest friends, plenty of mosh pits and head-banging to be had and tons of booze to be drank. The Masquerade was a metal heads haven. After watching some amazing acts slay on stage, you could chill with them afterwards. The spirit and camaraderie was perfect. I, along with everyone from the scene have some awesome memories of the place.
I remember…my first concert. Seeing Gwar for the first time, completely awestruck, having the time of my life. Falling in love with Nile. Slaughtering Pit Ninjas. HARDCORE HOLOCAUST. Starting mosh pits. Headbanging. Getting hit in the face with Zakk Wylde’s beer can. Meeting my current boyfriend at the Hate Eternal show. Singing “Walk” with Nile and Cannibal Corpse. Meeting everyone I admire.
It seems my every memory of the Masquerade is fond, bringing back smiles and sore necks. Something about sweaty bodies, pounding speakers and beer just screams good time. Now where will the metal heads go…? Of course, there are always other venues, Jannus Landing, Boomerz, State Theatre, even the USF SunDome…but none of those places seems to live up to the Masquerade. In time, this heartache shall pass, and Tampa metal will find a new home, a new stronghold and rise again. Until then, let’s reminisce, ‘cause we had some freakin’ awesome times.
RIP Masquerade. In loving memory.
“My first ever dm show…I got my nose fucking busted in the cannibal corpse pit. Ironically during Hammer Smashed Face.”- Ian Welsh, Abatu and Rivot Rag writer
“Well, there's that one time I made out with my drunk best friend... Seeing Rise Against there was breathtaking. That was the best close club venue.”- Caitlin Glenn
“Well first Flogging Molly performance I saw, there was so much pot being smoked and a lack of oxygen that Tanja's cheeks were actually blue when we were leaving. The air conditioner broke when Mindless Self Indulgence was here, and the masquerade guys were slicing open water bottles every 5 seconds and spraying everyone. And OMG!
Being petted by the lead singer of Dead Pets. Who is Scottish! And HOT!”- Chris Hawthorne
“Fighting with giant sweaty men for front row at Flogging Molly 4 years in a row. Strange fond memory, but it's fond. And Celeste came into her assertive concert self at the masquerade! She bitched someone out. It was awesome. I mean.... I know short people aren't easily stepped on just from myself.. I'll kick your ass before I'll give up my spot to you, especially if I'm in front and it's someone I really want to see…but I wasn't expecting that from her. She clobbered some guy and was flicking him off as he drifted away with the crowd…churchy Megan!”- Leah Burgess
“My memory of the Masquerade was when I saw witnessed true brutality and saw Obituary in Dec of 2005.Another fond memory was when I met the guys in River Chicken who are the coolest mother-fuckers ever\m/” – Joe of Vomiting Rectum
“I would have to say our fondest memory of the Masquerade was when we played with the Adicts. We were all so excited to be playing with one of the biggest names in our style of music, and the Masquerade gave us that chance.”- Jason of Forewarned Injustice
Keep it BRUTAL!