When the former Blackstock Auditorium closed suddenly in March, Brian Coakley quickly stepped in to realize a long-held vision for the building—which will soon be made public with the International and the Concourse's housewarming party on June 5, featuring the popular local '80s cover band the Pop Rox.
Coakley worked at the venue when it was known as the Valarium and Cider House, and founded the Midnight Voyage Live series of EDM shows there in 2010. He and his growing crew have been sprucing the place up for the past month to prepare to welcome their friends, family, and the community for the party.
"We've still got some things to take care of, but we should be ready to go," Coakley says.
The most significant change to the building will perhaps be the former Cider House, the smaller of the two venues, now known as the Concourse. Coakley says he hopes to have both rooms open during bigger shows, during which the Concourse will air a live video and audio feed of the concert taking place in the International. Coakley says it'll be a place for folks who need a little break from the action.
The housewarming party with the Pop Rox and local funk outfit Baseball the Band will be free and all ages. Both rooms will be open; doors open at 7 p.m.
"What I wanted to do with that was make it a thing that anyone can enjoy," Coakley says.
But the International's grand opening won't be until June 20, when Zeds Dead, a Canadian dubstep duo, will perform. That show is part of the Midnight Voyage series, which is returning to its original home after a year and a half at NV Nightclub in the Old City.
"That was the first show I thought would be a huge blow-out," Coakley says.
There will be a few shows between the housewarming and the grand opening, and Coakley has the venue booked through the end of July, with local metalcore band Whitechapel and DevilDriver on June 7; electronic jam band Dopapod on the same night at the Concourse; Animals as Leaders on June 12, which Coakley says he's especially excited about; the return of long-running local industrial/goth dance night Temple on June 21; and the Summer Slaughter tour, featuring Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, and more metal bands, on July 31. Coakley says he's working on booking acts all the way into October, including some hip-hop.