Windsor vs. everybody
By Grace Bauer
Windsor’s music scene is changing and competition from across the river may be the reason.
Every day, thousands of Windsorites cross the border to work, shop, dine and attend concerts in Detroit. According to Statistics Canada, about three-quarters of Canadians live within 160 kilometres of the Canada–U.S. border. Music and entertainment in Windsor is rising to the competition from its neighbouring city.
From Motown in the early 50s to modern day rap, Detroit’s rich music history has made it one of the top music cities in the United States, but can Windsor compare?
Phog Lounge is located on University Avenue in downtown Windsor and has been open for more than 13 years.
Tom Lucier, owner and operator of Phog Lounge said while he thinks Detroit is a weird city, Windsorites are influenced by it in many ways.
“We are unmistakably, unavoidably, influenced [by Detroit] but I don’t know if it’s good or bad,” said Lucier. “Everything is happening there. All the better bands, bigger bands, the names we recognize they are all pretty much trying to play Detroit, of course they influence us.”
Phog provides an atmosphere for performers who want to showcase their talent.
“If you have your own music and you want to play it we will put you on stage in some way shape or form. I participate in that community as best I can,” said Lucier. “People [in Windsor] who book live music, we are all contributing in different ways. For me, I give a stage, a space and an opportunity for people who want to play music and make money.”
Millar Hill, 21, is a Windsorite who frequents Detroit. He goes to explore different restaurants, music events, art galleries and different neighbourhoods.
“I love Windsor, I have nothing against Windsor but I’m kind of bored of it,” said Hill. “It’s the same thing – same sort of music. There is so much more in Detroit to explore that I haven’t seen and I’ve been over there a lot.”
Hill said he thinks Windsor is starting to pick up on what Detroit is doing and there is a lot of hype about Detroit.
“I think that Windsor would benefit from Detroit,” said Hill. “We have the space to bring in big musicians and bands. It would bring a lot of money to our city. If they are doing a show in Detroit, why can’t they do one in Windsor? It would generate more traffic to Windsor.”
In light of so many Windsorites exploring Detroit, Lucier said they should be cautious when exploring and hopes Windsorites would invest more in Windsor.
“If Windsorites became more educated about what is going on in their city I think they’d be surprised,” said Lucier. “They have so much good happening over [in Detroit]. I wish Windsorites would get as excited about what is happening in their city.”