By Kevin Collison
A couple of veterans of the Nashville concert scene are opening a new indoor venue in the Crossroads called The Truman, and have chosen a local music icon to kick off their series, Tech N9ne.
Chris Cobb and his partner, Josh Billue, have a good feeling about opening their first venture outside Nashville in downtown Kansas City, and it helps they have a powerful national partner, AEG Presents. AEG Presents also runs The Arrest Bank Theatre @ The Midland.
“We feel a 1,400 capacity venue in Kansas City was wanted by the music community,” Cobb said. “I can’t say enough about my Kansas City experience so far. It reminds me of how Nashville felt 10 years ago when it was on the cusp.”
The operators are making what Cobb said is a multi-million dollar investment renovating a former auto parts warehouse at 601 E. Truman Rd. in the East Crossroads. Cobb said they hope to fill the void created when the former Beaumont Club closed in Westport more than five years ago.
The Truman announced its first concert line-up on Monday, and tickets for the general public go on sale this Friday (June 23) at 10 a.m.
The lineup so far:
–-Tech N9ne, Saturday, Sept. 16, all ages.
–Andy Mineo, Sunday, Sept. 24, all ages.
–Nothing More, Wednesday, Oct. 4, all ages.
–Lany, Tuesday, Oct. 24, all ages.
–Trombone Shorty, Sunday, Oct. 28, all ages.
–Yellow Claw, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 18 & over.
–Slowdive, Friday, Nov. 3, all ages.
The Truman will be open to the public on Sept. 9 as part of the Crossroads Music Festival. The Tech N9ne show the following week is described as its grand opening.
Cobb credited Matt Abbott of Abbott Properties for helping him find the new space.
“Matt played a big role in seeing the project to where it is today,” he said.
Cobb is a native of Dallas and has been in Nashville for 19 years. He’s been promoting concerts and other events for the last 15 years.
In 2007, he purchased Exit/In, a popular Nashville club first opened in 1971. Three years later he and Billue opened Marathon Music Works in Nashville and said The Truman will be modeled after that venue.
Besides concerts, The Truman will be available for receptions and other private events. The former showroom at the front of the building is being renovated to become a bar and restaurant space with a covered patio. The cavernous warehouse space will have seating for a variety of live shows including reserved and cabaret-style.
For the foreseeable future, The Truman will only be open on event days, but Cobb expects as the Crossroads becomes more popular it will expand to regular hours.
The Nashville partners will be the operators, AEG Presents will be the promoter and book all the shows.
“With all the success we’ve had over the last eight years at The Midland, we’ve still longed for a smaller, more intimate venue in Kansas City to provide a development space for newer artists to play,” Joe Litvag, AEG Presents senior vice president said in a statement.
“We’re excited to bring artists and audiences of every genre to this incredible new venue.”
As much as he enjoys Nashville, Cobb said the energy downtown Kansas City is projecting these days with its new streetcar and its burgeoning art scene is something the Music City could learn from.
“In some of those areas, Nashville has gone wrong,” he said. “I feel Kansas City has it right.”