“Traditionally, we like to focus, for the anniversaries, on either people who’ve worked here who have bands, or still work here, or the bands that have been in sort of the closer-knit scene. I like having the anniversary be a party for us and for our music scene.” That’s Black Cat owner Dante Ferrando talking to NBC 4 about the DC club’s 30th anniversary, which was celebrated over the weekend across two nights of music. “It’s more fun for me to get somebody like Ted Leo, who’s played here over 30 times, to come back and do something, or Velocity Girl to reunite or get Ex Hex back on the stage…Those kind of things mean a lot more to me personally, and I think they resonate with the people who work here a little bit more and the people who come to shows all the time.”
Velocity Girl‘s reunion, the shoegazy indie rock band’s first show in 21 years, was the most exciting set of the weekend, but Black Cat put together a terrific lineup of music, including Ted Leo + Pharmacists, Messthetics (ft 1/2 of Fugazi), Mary Timony bands Ex Hex and Hammered Hulls (with Alec MacKaye of Untouchables, The Faith, Ignition), Flasher, Birthday Girl, and Bad Moves. Ferrando himself played in two bands: early Dischord band Gray Matter (who have reunited for other Black Cat anniversaries) and The Owners, his band with wife and venue co-owner, Catherine.
Check out photos from both nights by Ben Stas, along with fan-shot video, below.