Menifee Plugged In: Closing of The Vault Signals End of an Era

By Neil Kristjansson

Last week, news came out that The Vault, a music venue in Temecula, is set to close by December. Serving no alcoholic beverages but catering to audiences of all ages, it struggled to keep up a high amount of traffic to fund itself.

I’ve been there a few times, and I can honestly say that it was a great venue.

Not every band I’d seen was my type, or fit into my taste, but the venue itself made a huge difference here in our little area of Southwestern Riverside County. Local talent could come out of their bedrooms and their garages and pursue the dream they’d always wanted. Even just a group of people who want to have some fun. Either way, people could play there; that’s all that really mattered.

From local talent to big names, plenty of different groups came through. From punk to party, it was always fun.

I remember my first time being there. A friend of mine had approached me, asking if I wanted to go and see his band play at The Vault. I bought a ticket and showed up. Up until that point, the only concerts I’d ever been to had been in arenas or amphitheaters, so I had no idea what a smaller place like this would be like. But I wasn’t disappointed.

In a room that size, there’s something more intense, more personal, than what you would normally experience at a bigger venue. Whether it’s a band you like, don’t like, or don’t really care for, the motion and vibration of that moment is enough to make you say "screw it" and have a good time.

Nobody cares if you’re throwing yourself around or just standing in the back. That’s the beauty of what The Vault gave to our little spot of California.

Thankfully, as we wave goodbye to this chapter of the local music scene, another is already planned. The Vault’s promoter, Ivan McClain, is currently looking for investors to open up an even larger venue early next year. Whatever happens, I support the venture.

So what’s going to happen with The Vault in its last week? Zebrahead performed on Nov. 22, a free-to-attend show titled "The Death of the Vault" is scheduled this Friday, Nov. 29, and lastly the latest installment of Band Wars will take place this Saturday, Nov. 30.

"The Death of the Vault" will feature several different artists who supported and attended the venue over the years. This includes The Maxies, Defunked, The Infamous They, Illnoise, Indica Roots, and Expulsion. It’s the last chance any of us will have to be there, and I’m not passing it up.

Neil Kristjansson's "Menifee Plugged In" column appears each Monday. He writes about two things of interest to most of the younger generation -- music and electronic gaming. He welcomes your comments here or though email at


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