With Teenage Love’s recent 25th anniversary show, the Rebel Scum movie premiere, and now a Mercury Theater reunion party scheduled for this weekend, Knoxville’s middle-aged punks have had a lot of reasons to get back out in the last few weeks.
It would be hard to explain to somebody who never saw a show there just why the Mercury Theater’s become such a big part of Knoxville’s institutional memory. It was too small, it was poorly ventilated, the bathroom was a nightmare. But those are often the kinds of conditions that give rise to rock legends, and the Mercury held way more than its share of legendary performances, from big-name national acts (Guided by Voices, Southern Culture on the Skids, Black Flag’s Greg Ginn, a notorious concert by the Impotent Sea Snakes) to local superstars-in-the-making like Superdrag and the V-Roys.
The Preservation Pub, which now occupies the same space on Market Square, is hosting a reunion on Saturday, Jan. 23. Former owner Kevin Niceley’s expected to attend, and Immortal Chorus and Teenage Love are scheduled to perform.