People had been warning us all year about St. Louis having a problem with thieves targeting vulnerable bands. A van filled with stuff in front of a music venue is an easy target. Knowing this, Ella and I still booked a show at a St. Louis venue even though literally everything we own is in our car. We pulled into town and decided to feel out the venue to see if our stuff would be ok. “Hey, is our car gonna be ok out in front of the venue all night?”, I asked a bartender. She began to reassure me, when a guy at the bar blurted out, “THIS IS SOUTH ST. LOUIS, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?” I’m still not sure what he meant, but we got a bad vibe from him, the venue and the neighborhood and decided to cancel the show. This decision ended up making everyone at the bar very upset.
We decided to head north toward Illinois for our Daytrotter session when we started to get facebook posts and pictures from patrons at the bar. There was a picture of one of our posters getting torn up, and posts claiming we skipped the show because we didn’t think we’d make any money. One girl even said, “More like Straight White Racists.” Yikes. Not sure how she came to that conclusion because everyone in that bar was white(and scary).
So, a morning after a really rough night I have the following thoughts:
St. Louis, we are truly sorry for bailing on the show. It was unwise, unprofessional and insulting for us to book a show in your city and cancel once we saw the neighborhood the venue was in. Our decision to cancel says nothing about your city, and I wish we could make it up to you.
Having said that, your response(or at least the response from people at the bar) was insane and horrible. You tried to insult us, rip us apart and attack our character even though you literally know nothing about us. Are you not aware of your reputation? Bands now go out of their way to avoid playing in your city, and after last night we’ll do the same. The race riots and crime in St. Louis are not your fault, but you were in absolute control of how you responded to us canceling last night.