Brick back in the mix

Talent buyer/show promoter Nieto: “This business is cutthroat.”
  • Talent buyer/show promoter Nieto: “This business is cutthroat.”

As was first reported by the Reader on May 2 of this year, ex-members of As I Lay Dying bought Brick by Brick, which has been closed since February. The Bay Park music venue was purchased by a corporation owned by guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso and drummer Jordan Mancin. Frontman Tim Lambesis cofounded the local Christian metal band with Mancin in 2000. In May, Lambesis was sentenced to six years in prison for a murder-for-hire attempt on his ex-wife. Mancin, Hipa, and Sgrosso’s new band, Wovenwar (Metalblade Records), takes off for a four-month U.S./ European tour July 17.

The Brick liquor license transferred June 23. It was unclear when the venue would reopen. Attempts to reach the new owners or ex-owner Max Paul were not successful. Details were not disclosed. Based on market rates, the license was worth about $70,000. Some $30,000 in old tax liens needed to be paid before the license could be transferred.

San Diego’s hard-rock axis now seems to be shared by Brick by Brick and the Ramona Mainstage. Guitarist and metal fan Vic Nieto has promoted shows at both. He is now the principal talent buyer and production manager at Ramona Mainstage. He points out that there are pluses and minuses for both venues. The Mainstage’s 550 capacity is 150 more than Brick’s. The Mainstage can admit those 18-and-up (Brick is 21-plus).

On the other hand, Brick has a full-liquor bar and is more centrally located.

“This business is cutthroat,” says Nieto. “It’s all who you know. Those guys [in Wovenwar] are part of a big agency [ICM]. And I am sure that they will get most of the other bands that are signed to that agency. But I also know that some agents don’t want to do business with Brick by Brick.”

Nieto has been promoting shows since Brick by Brick’s Paul gave him a break in 2011. He has since booked UFO, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmstein, and Saxxon. He says with Brick by Brick back in the mix, the added competition will force local venues to pay more. “This is exactly what agents want. But Orrin [Day, Mainstage owner] will not bid so much that he loses overhead. The fact is, Mainstage doesn’t have to be open every day; Brick by Brick does. And let’s face it, the local band scene is not drawing that well nowadays and it’s only gotten worse.”

On June 28, Brick by Brick’s Facebook page was updated with the following shows: Vinny and Carmine Appice, July 24; Burning of Rome, July 26; Fuel, July 31.

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Good article Ken very informative. But who is Saxxon? You mentioned Nieto's booking relationships and they were one of the acts you mentioned. How about Saxon...... Formed in 1976 , In England. Have been to said to have influenced bands like Megadeth and Metallica. Kind of heavy metal icons. Thanks.

I think saying that Agents wont do business With Brick by Brick Is ill-responsible at best. Mr. Nieto is not the spokes person for The Agents nor Brick by Brick. I think that Agents will give the new owners and management a fair chance. The bottom line is making money, I think they will make money and put on good shows. Sounds like Mr. Nieto is fearful of real competition. His comments are negative like a kick em when they are down kind of negative. The Mainstage is not the only dog and carriage show in town, they are not the best of the best, they do not always have sold out shows. Ramona does a lot of the same old same old of the old Brick By Brick. There are a number of good venues that bring quality and current music to San Diego.

Brick now has new owners that are highly connected to the music industry and a experienced and good Manager that will elevate the club. I think They will give Ramona a run for its money just based on the shows they have coming up. One caution would be using local promoters that have had a bad tract record for business and stick with ones that have a good track record and good networking relationships with bands and agents and don't over saturate the small market here. As far as Ramona Mainstage if they believe as their promoter states this business is cutthroat, well then you get back what you put out.

Peace man see ya'll at the show. Musicman67

Yes,!!! Music Man Who Ever You Are!! Here's A List Of Bands That Were Not Paid The Great Allan Holdsworth!! Soulfly.Cherrie Currie.ETC…….

The Agents Will Work With The New Owners Not The Old!! Fact!! Employees And Promoters Were Not Paid Still Got Bad Checks !!! On Shows That Made Money !!!!!!

Drum Wars Been There Done That!! I Booked Half The Shows They Have Coming!! Now What!!

Ramona Mainstage Is The New Metal Jazz Blues And Pop Club!!! Bands That Are Coming: Kreator, Death, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Allan Holdsworth,Tony MacAlpine, Many Many More, Wait Untill The Restaurant And 300 Room Inn Is Done And The New Mixing Board. We Will Be Fine!! Gary Hoey Played The HOB For Years Now He Only Plays Ramona!!!!

The Main Reason The Brick By Brick Went Under Was No Support!! On The Local Shows!!

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