Let me say this up front: although I was a U-M student at exactly the right time (1989-1993), I did not see Nirvana play the Blind Pig either time – opening for the Flaming Lips in October 1989, or headlining in April 1990. Nor did I see Smashing Pumpkins in 1991, Pearl Jam that same year, or Dave Matthews in 1994.
So who did I see at the Pig back in the day? His Name is Alive, Crossed Wire (multiple times), Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Map of the World. (Possibly Throwing Muses too, though my memory’s hazy on this point.) I saw bands that had found some success, and regularly drew young fans and crowds to the then-smoky club, but weren’t fated to ever land on the cover of Rolling Stone.
That’s OK. I still had a great time. I remember asking HNIA’s former frontwoman Karin Oliver, seated at the Pig’s bar between sets, to sign my red flyer for the show. (She seemed surprised but delighted by my request.) During Crossed Wire shows, I danced up a storm while jockeying for position, hoping to catch lead singer Chris Moore’s eye. And I shamelessly belted my favorite Toad tunes, closing my eyes while harmonizing with Glen Phillips.
Lots of locals have been revisiting their personal history with the Pig lately, since Swisher Commercial listed the building for sale in February. Though whoever buys it may choose to keep the space a music venue and bar, the Pig’s location within Ann Arbor’s exploding downtown business district makes it a hot prospect for a broad range of potential buyers.
No one knows what the future holds for the Pig. But we can know its history, how its identity has changed over time, and the place it’s held – for years and years – in Ann Arbor’s live music scene. READ THE REST HERE