What a long, strange four and a half years it’s been for Mill City Nights, the AEG-owned nightclub that was opened in early 2012 to ostensibly compete with downtown Minneapolis landmark First Avenue.
After an opening show by Jane’s Addiction that can only be described as a disaster — overcrowding and impossible sightlines led to much uproar on social media and an eventual refund to all ticketholders — and a name change from the Brick to Mill City Nights, the club was never quite able to find its niche in the metro area.
Earlier this morning, Mill City Nights published a schedule of its fall shows on its Facebook page, and the last date appears to be a December 11 show with alt-rock band Melodime.
When the Brick opened in March of 2012, AEG senior vice president Joe Litvag said that he envisioned the space as a “next step” for artists who played the First Avenue Mainroom, and expected the capacity to be around 2,000 people. After their inaugural show, it became obvious that the capacity was actually much smaller, and when it reopened as Mill City Nights it operated as a 1,200-person venue, with a separate downtown space where local bands could play called the Nether Bar.
To its credit, the venue significantly improved after its first year, and its connection to AEG insured that they could pull in commercially successful national acts, including many that served the oft-overlooked metal community. Still, it never quite integrated into the larger network of popular music venues in Minneapolis.
“We have decided to wind down the operation toward the end of 2016,” Litvag told City Pages today. “While not an easy decision to come to, we feel it’s the right business decision for us at this time.”