If you’ve read previous installations of this particular feature (all two of them), you know that we’re going to take occasional glances back through the eons to a time when Preservation Pub was not yet the neighborhood bar/music venue/craft beer haven/open-mic comedy forum/etc./etc. we all know and love. For most of the 1990s, it was a different bar and music venue–aka The Mercury Theatre–known and beloved by downtown denizens of questionable repute. A handful of performances from that era were even recorded, and found their way onto the Interwebs. (And yes, I know it’s hard to comprehend there was actually a time when most people did not have advanced video technology on hand in the pockets of their jeans…) We’re taking a look at some of those archival gems, presented here through the magic of video imbedding.
It’s hard to believe Washington state rockers Modest Mouse have been around as long as they have. But here they are, playing a couple of tunes (“Dark Center of the Universe,” and “Cowboy Dan”) from their early albums on Market Square in September of 1997, in the days before they enjoyed music-festival headlining status.
The fertile music scene of Chapel Hill, N.C., produced some of the most popular indie rock of the ’90s and early ’00s (see Superchunk, Ben Folds, Southern Culture on the Skids, Polvo…) A particular favorite among Knox Angeles hipsters were pugnacious pop rockers Archers of Loaf. Here’s a thick slice from their performance at Mercury Theatre in 1994. The Archers reformed in 2011, btw, after a 13-year absence from the scene.