Linnabary: A concerned love letter to The Cotillion


Dave Williams/The Wichita Eagle

(7/17/03 Cotillion — The Cotillion Ballroom. PHOTO BY DAVE WILLIAMS/THE WICHITA EAGLE)

I guess I enjoy getting concussed during cookie-cutter metal concerts. And sure, I like catching up with Juggalos at the annual Tech N9ne show as much as the next guy. But damn, I wish The Cotillion brought in some better acts.

We’ve got a solid music scene at the bars, with places like Barleycorn’s, Mort’s and more. And shows at Intrust Bank Arena are out of my broke budget anyway. But the mid-size Cotillion, that comfy middle ground between bar show and big venue, leaves something to be desired.

What’s coming soon? The one-note, bagpipe-blasting punk band Dropkick Murphys; Clutch, Killswitch Engage, Sevendust — dated metal bands indistinguishable but for the variation in syllables in their names. The lone saving grace in the near future is The Pixies.

I say that out of love. I’ve been on dates, drank too much, screamed too loud and lost a few sweat pounds while on that hardwood dance floor. I’m familiar with how it emphasizes hard rock and metal to the point of overkill because of going to those concerts growing up. But it’s time the venue changes.

Yeah, Tech N9ne is a midwest legend. Keep him coming, since he obviously has a fanbase here and can fill up the venue. But also tap into the new generation of rap. Book those artists who are heating up, but aren’t yet red-hot. That’s the market The Cotillion needs to fill. Young people know what’s cool before it’s cool. Listen to them.

I saw Mac Miller and Rae Sremmurd at The Cotillion within the last few years, so I know there’s hope that the venue can find young people’s music pulse. But right now, it feels like The Cotillion is on life support — at least when it comes to relevance.

Wichita is all about its arts scene right now. But let’s take the focus off murals for a moment and put it on music. Step out of the past and into at least 2010, Cotillion. You may only seat 2000, but don’t stay stuck in the year 2000.