All-ages venue debuts this weekend |

All-ages venue debuts this weekend

Tim Parsons

Kids can’t say there’s nothing to do in Tahoe anymore.

Tahoe Underground segues to an all-ages venue this weekend.

The grand opening Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, will feature D.J. Gibram, whose forte is getting the crowd moving with the African rhythms of Lingala, Sokouss, Ndombolo, Kwaito, bongo, reggae and East African hip-hop.

The club at 270 Kingsbury Grade will offer live music and DJs on Friday and Saturday nights and a battle of the bands on Sundays.

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After bringing in more than 170 bands in the past year and a half to a tepid community response, Hammett decided to change the venue to an all-ages format. He voluntarily gave up his liquor license and will retain his catering license for special events.

D.J. Gibram starts the music at 9 p.m. The cover charge will be $10 and will include one juice, soda or energy drink.

People age 18 and older must bring their I.D. in order to remain in the club after midnight. They will receive an arm band indicating they can stay after Alice Cooper’s “Eighteen” is played.

The first band auditions will be Sunday, Oct. 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The crowd will determine the winners. The cover for battle of the bands will be $5. Winning bands likely will get booked to play at the Underground.

Local bands will continue to play at the club, including Waiting for T.I.M., Absynth, O.C.T. and Savagekat, which performs Friday, Oct. 12.

“Waiting for T.I.M. packed the place from Day 1,” Hammett said. “My comfort level with those guys has increased and they’ve gotten better and better and better.”

Lead guitarist Dan White, a 2001 graduate of Whittell High School, said he would have liked to have an all-ages club when he was growing up.

“I was always into live music,” he said. “That was huge for me, not being able to go to shows because your not 21. If there was a place like that I definitely would have wanted to go and I would assume that kids nowadays would too.”

Hammett is optimistic about the new format for his venue.

“I am feeling fairly confident because of the response from musicians and high school students who want get involved.”

Tahoe Underground also will bring in pool tables and interactive video games and offer cappuccino, espresso and energy drinks. The revenue it generates will come from a cover charge. Hammett said he is looking for a silent investor to help him purchase the new electronics.

Hammett wants to provide music which teens perhaps have not before heard, material that’s less violent.

“Not any trash,” he said. “I don’t want to hear anything about my mother and I don’t want to hear a single curse word.”

Hammett encourages parents to visit the venue. Call Tahoe Underground at (775) 588-2333.

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