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Photo courtesy of Billboard.
The Holdovers Review
February 20, 2024

Welcome back Wellmont

On June 20, 2013, fans of the band MGMT were enjoying their night at a highly anticipated concert at the Wellmont Theater, a quaint concert hall located off of Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair that is known for its alternative and comedic shows, only to learn a couple days later that the theater was closing. It was a tragic day for most alternative and indie music lovers in the halls of JCHS who were wondering whether or not it would return. The Wellmont offered opportunities for fans in the local area to see acts, such as Regina Spektor, Matt and Kim, M83, and Modest Mouse for which tickets were relatively cheap. Therefore the news came as a tragic shock to many fans who were thankful that Wellmont showed such great bands that weren’t  a far commute away.

Thankfully the news of the Wellmont Theater shutting down was only a rumor, and those endless indie concerts that are needed in the middle of the winter when no bands are touring and students need to refill on their concert experiences, would be back. Instead of shutting down, the musical hall which was previously owned by indie galore The Bowery Presents, was bought by the company Live Nation.  Live Nation planned on doing some much needed repairs, such as better lighting and sound systems, on the almost one hundred year old musical hall, circa 1922. By the time the summer of 2013 came to a close, bigger bands, such as Blink 182 and The Fray, were selling tickets for shows at the new and improved Wellmont Theater, only at more expensive prices than before. So what it comes down to is: should a person pay a little extra to see a band that they kind of like, or go and pay the bus or subway fees to hike into the city and see more of those indie bands that the Wellmont now lacks?

Sean Striegel, the Vice President of Live Nation, did make a promise to make the Wellmont a part of the community of Montclair as much as possible and hopefully those changes that did occur will not be as dramatic as most of us think it will be.

While many will miss the opportunity to see their favorite bands for a relatively cheap price of $35 a ticket at a local concert hall, it is still great to see it still open and who knows, maybe some awesome band that we all love so much will stop by and every student from JCHS, fan or not, will buy the tickets. But for now, the locals of the area will remain thankful that the Wellmont’s rumored fate of closing never came true.

Photo courtesy of “HankB” at “The Suburbanites Guide to Somewhere

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