A live music venue with shuttered doors. Old concert posters are taped up and a health mask is fluttering in the wind. There are graffiti markings over the closed pull down garage doors.
Jimmy Simpson for Marker

Live Music Is About to Get Its Grand Reopening

And it’s going to be total chaos

Patrick Sisson
Published in
14 min readMar 23, 2021


WWhen the stage lights rose before the show on March 14, 2020, at Saint Vitus, a cramped New York City heavy metal bar, the venue felt a little more on edge than normal. In its near decade of shows, dance parties, and drinking, the intimate, dimly lit bar and concert venue, a former plumbing school located in the “ass-end” of Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, had become an internationally respected nexus for all things heavy metal. That Saturday night, a noise-rock supergroup called Human Impact would give the last concert before the venue officially announced a shutdown on the 17th. The message to the club’s fans for existence in the new pandemic wilderness: “Practice good social distancing — you can throw up the horns and shout HAILS at each other from a safe 6 feet away.”

“The arc of these things, you simply didn’t know what was going to happen,” recalls David Castillo, the venue’s co-owner and music booker and a musician himself. “You knew it [Covid-19] was going to result in a huge impact on nightlife, restaurants, pretty much everything you could call ‘the gathering industry.’”

Many were among the first to close, and their cramped, body-packed design makes them a significant transmission…



Patrick Sisson
Writer for

A Chicago expat living in Los Angeles, Patrick Sisson writes about the intersection of cities, business, and culture.