Cut & Paste: A fond farewell to the Upstairs Lounge | St. Louis Public Radio

Cut & Paste: A fond farewell to the Upstairs Lounge

Nov 15, 2018

Upstairs Lounge was a mainstay of St. Louis nightlife from its humble opening in 1992, upstairs from Mekong Restaurant on South Grand Boulevard, to its breathless closing this month with a string of eight straight nights of dance parties.

It was home to generations of revelers who favored the no-frills space’s intimate quarters and underground musical leanings.

In this Cut & Paste episode, we speak with two people closely associated with the Upstairs Lounge about the club’s early days, its heyday in the first years of this century and the heartbreaking realization that it was time to shut it down.

Adrian Gough (left) and Dino Taca kept the Upstairs going in the months after founder Tu Tien Tran's death.
Credit Jeremy D. Goodwin | St. Louis Public Radio

The style of music presented at the Upstairs evolved over the years. In the late 1990s, a weekly hip-hop showcase held sway. Later, a durable drum 'n’ bass night attracted fans of that style for about 20 years. By the early aughts, DJs spun different flavors of electronic dance music nightly at the club.

The club’s future was thrown into doubt after the death in January of its gregarious founder, Tu Tien Tran, at age 47. Longtime Upstairs fixture Dino Taca took the reigns for a while, with promoter Adrian Gough stepping up to book talent.

“The Upstairs Lounge just seemed to be the heartbeat and the soul of underground electronic dance music in St. Louis,” Gough said.

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also find all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

The podcast is sponsored by JEMA Architects, Planners and Designers.

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