Less than a year after its final show, Transitions is back and putting on shows. Its last space — a small standalone building now home to Tampa’s King State coffee roasting company — stood in the shadow of the Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT), but the new location sits literally within SPoT, just yards away from the old skatepark snack bar.
Venue manager and general Jack-of-all-trades Gabe Wagner ran sound at Epic Problem (a name the venue adopted after changing hands in 2012) and was one of the last to mix a show when the venue, having changed its name back to Transitions (confusing, we know) finally closed “for good” in August 2016. He says that he rebuilt the sound system at the new space using EAW KF600i speakers and the old subwoofers from Ybor City’s Orpheum. All of it ends up running through a Behringer X32 digital mixer.
“I would like to see the space flourish,” Wagner, 20, told CL. He imagines two to three shows a week for the time being and wants the new Transitions to compete for every kind of show. “I’m hoping it’s a lot of the same crowd. I really respected the fact that the old spaces had shows you couldn’t find anywhere else, but I really want this to be an all-inclusive space.”
He’s well on his way.
The space has already hosted shows surrounding FYA Fest IV and a pair of wild concerts during the latest Tampa Pro skateboarding tournament, where pro skaters Figgy (Justin Figueroa), Nuge (Don Nguyen) and Frecks showcased their band, Arctic.
On April 28, Wagner and Elevated Booking are throwing an official welcome back party for the venue. Cleveland, Ohio hardcore outfit Fuck You Pay Me is the easy highlight, but the bill also includes heppin’ & jah-ing Tampa ska septet Help! Police!, Clearwater rapper Dom Soares, pop-punk five-piece One Way!, and the CL staff’s favorite non-retired punk act Awkward Age.
With renovations and upgrades always ongoing, the future looks good for the latest reincarnation of one of Tampa’s longest-running independent, DIY venues, so expect a healthy mix of familiar faces and curious newcomers at this one.
“We know, the name means a lot of things to a lot of different people. The main goal is just to get people to come out to shows again,” Wagner and Elevated Booking wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “With that in mind, this will be like past scene unity shows, where it will be a mixed-genre show. Leave your egos at the door and just come have fun.”