Stories on Alrosa Villa, Buenos Aires nightclubs and Steve Vai.

DamageplanAlrosa Villa, the Columbus, Ohio, nightclub that was the scene of a gunman's Dec. 8 rampage that left Damageplan/Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and two others dead, will reopen Jan. 14 to host a benefit show for the families of the victims. The show will feature the bands Bobaflex and Odious, with tickets priced at $7 available through Ticketmaster.

"We know it's not right to open the Alrosa without having a benefit first," venue owner Rick Cautela said on Columbus radio station WBZX, the audio of which is posted on the Alrosa Villa Web site. "I'm not sure what's going to happen for the future; one minute I think the Alrosa has a future, the next minute I don't feel comfortable about it."


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







In the aftermath of the nightclub fire in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that left 175 people dead and more than 700 hurt, local government officials say they would no longer allow live concerts in dance halls. In addition, all Buenos Aires dance halls will be closed for the next two weeks, according to government chief Anibal Ibarra. During that time, meetings will be held to discuss new security measures in nightclubs.

The fire took place late Dec. 30 at the Republica Cromagnon club in the heart of Buenos Aires, during a concert by rock band Los Callejeros. Reportedly, at least 2,000 people, many of them teenagers, were at the show.

The fire began when three fans threw flares that lit the club's ceiling, sparking the fire and filling the locale with acrid smoke. In the pandemonium that followed, fans rushed for the doors and reportedly found many of the emergency exits locked or blocked. Many of the victims died trampled or as a result of smoke inhalation.


-- Leila Cobo, Miami







VaiSteve Vai will release "Real Illusions: Reflections," the first piece of a four-part concept album, Feb. 22 via Epic. Along with the renowned guitarist's trademark fretwork, he also adds vocals to several of the songs on the set.

"The concept is expected to span the course of three single discs," Vai says. "All the songs are presented as vignettes, but not necessarily in the order of the story. After it all, the idea is to release a four-CD box with an additional CD of material and all the songs in the proper order."

Vai says liner notes with each disc will also tell parts of the story. "It's all a tease, but there is a payoff if you stick with it," he says.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

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