The Sound of Silence In Kansas City
The survival of the building pictured here offers vital perspective. Today's tattooed teens and the ghosts in the cemetery on Union Hill know it as El Torreon. Aging hippies wistfully remember the structure as the Cowtown Ballroom.
It's just one of several Kansas City spots that gave up on live music in 2007. According to a recent column by Hearne Christopher, live music has also ended in the room formerly known as the Grand Emporium. Over in the West Bottoms, Kemper Arena lies largely forsaken since the Sprint Center opened. A Christian rock show is currently the only concert on its books.
The status of the Hurricane is uncertain. And it's possible that the outdoor theater in Bonner Springs that was once called Sandstone may be permanently shuttered.
All these changes represent normal transitions. The music didn't stop; it just moved to other locations. The closing of the Phoenix, the third most important jazz venue in town, is different. I'm afraid there's little demand for what it offered.