Just when it seemed like Meridian was on the comeback trail, a mysterious power outage and shows both canceling and relocating to different venues over the weekend have raised more questions about the problem-plagued venue at 1503 Chartres.
Sunday, My Onstage Events announced on Facebook and Twitter that the highly anticipated appearance by the reunited Wu-Tang Clan - save RZA and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard - scheduled for this Sunday at Meridian had been moved back to Numbers, the original location announced in October. The show was moved to Meridian about a month ago.
Numbers is a significantly smaller venue than Meridian, so naturally Rocks Off's eyebrows shot up when we learned the show had been moved back there. My Onstage Events owner Mike Kelly told us that Meridian offered Wu-Tang more money but that after the club's most recent round of problems, he decided to step in.
"Otherwise the show would have just been cancelled," he said.
According to concert-tracking Web site Pollstar, Wu-Tang is currently booked at Numbers. A message on My Onstage Events' site says, "Regardless of anything you may have heard, this show is at Numbers."
Sunday, Rocks Off went to Meridian to get a few photos of the building. Several trailers were parked outside the venue, the lights were on, and people were coming and going, so it looked as though the "Slave to the Metal" show was going on as planned.
However, a flyer still attached to the wall (above) indicated that Saturday's Smile Empty Soul show had been relocated to The Concert Pub on Richmond at the last minute. We also spotted a massive generator parked outside.
Friday night's show by country outlaw and "long haired redneck" David Allan Coe was also canceled, this time without any kind of notice - on the door, online or anywhere else.
Meridian owner Gary Katz confirmed that the building had lost power over the weekend, but had been restored. "We've got power right now," he said. "We had some issues, but they've been fixed."
Wu-Tang's moving back to Numbers appeared to take Katz by surprise, though. "[That's] news to me," he said Monday morning. "I'm not aware of that, and I doubt they would've done that without the agent informing me."
Katz declined to discuss the circumstances of the power outage or Coe's cancellation. Meridian's new general manager, Gerroy Jermaine, also confirmed the power outage and said the building had regained electricity Sunday morning.
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Jermaine said that he had cancelled the Wu-Tang show, incensed over what he called a marked-up booking rate from the agent.
"The price they were asking for was unrealistic," Germaine said, quoting five-figure numbers he deemed "outrageous, for a Sunday."
Jermaine also said the fire department showed up Sunday in response to a false call about the venue being ablaze. The Houston Fire Department's records office denied receiving any such call.
Monday afternoon, Jermaine said Coe had cancelled due to poor ticket sales and promotion, and that any tickets purchased through Meridian's Web site would be refunded, or that people could call the club at 832-356-6058.