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Comparison 🔎 Amazing Music Venues

michaelskis

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In the random thread, there was discussion of seeing a performer and it got me thinking of the different concerts that I have been to and how different the venues are. Now there are some that are some amazing venues worthy of orchestras and super deep rich vocals.

Take Carnegie Hall as an example.
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Then you have smaller venues, such as the State Theater in Kalamazoo Michigan that have that same grandeur, but on a smaller scale.
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On the flip side, big concerts are held at major stadiums
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An then there are places, such as the Grand Olde Opry that are just so legendary that the performer is second to the legacy of the stage.
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On the other hand, you have "bars that are intended to be music venues. For example, there was a Tim McGraw concert in Grand Rapids at an arena, and the opening act, Lady A, showed up at the Intersection for a bar concert afterwards. I was lucky to be in the right place that night.
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But there is also the hole in the wall, off street bar that has an intendency that can't be rivaled.
Best-Live-Music-Bars-in-Bangkok-Heap-Victory-Monument.jpg


Finally, there is the step child of them all... the State Fair.
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What is your favorite music venue and why? What about it makes the experience so awesome?
 
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Maister

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So I went to a Grateful Dead concert I think in 1989 near Boston. I remember it was an outdoor venue and I remember 'Fox-something' was in the name. Foxcroft? Fox Valley? Foxmoore? I don't recall much else beyond that except there was a guy sitting in the trunk of his car in the parking lot playing a zither.

The other Fox place I remember going to a concert was The Fox Theater in Detroit. I saw Lou Reed there also back in '89

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luckless pedestrian

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I like the summer outdoor venue concert series - we used to look at the schedule and decide which ones we would go to - but those ticket prices are pretty steep

When I was growing up, there were a couple of bars in Syracuse that somehow got bands right before, like a minute before, they hit big - I got to see the police in a bar that maybe holds 150 people, Dire Straits too - B 52's

Then just a few years later to see those same bands at the Carrier Dome and other big venues was crazy

I like to see jazz at venues made for good sound quality like Berklee School of Music or Symphony Halls

My memory of War Memorials is seeing the Dead play and my very first concert ever, and I am not kidding, KISS, lol, right
 

MD Planner

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Red Rocks is on my list. Wolf Trap is a pretty awesome venue. They have a great variety of acts almost every single night during the season. I encourage everyone to go if you're ever visiting the DC area (in non-pandemic times).

Great Woods south of Boston is a favorite of mine for seeing Buffett. It's just your regular run of the mill amphitheater but it's a great vibe. Jones Beach on Long Island at Wantaugh is also pretty cool just because it's right on the water.
 

JNA

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Wolf Trap in Virginia

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PNC Bank Arts Center​

New Jersey right off the Garden State Parkway
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michaelskis

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Did anyone go to any great venues in their college towns? For me, there was a place called Up Front and Company. It had live music every weekend and had an up-scale big city feel. I was disappointed to hear some years ago that they closed, however I am surprised to see that they still have a website. The home page indicates that they are closed but all the photos of the bands and events are still up.

I may also be a bit biased on the design of the building because my advisor for my minor was the architect.
 

WSU MUP Student

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Red Rocks in Colorado
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Red Rocks is on my wish list. I was out in Denver for a conference a few years ago and could have gone to see Umphrey's McGee one night but went to a Rockies game instead. I was in Denver again the following year for a family thing and we did make it to Red Rocks, but just to explore in the middle of the day. It was gorgeous and made me only more determined to attend a show there.

My favorite spots for concerts are usually the smaller bars - Schuba's in Chicago and the Magic Stick in Detroit are definite standouts. There used to be a tiny place in Wilmington, NC called The Soapbox LaundroLounge that was awesome. The downstairs was a working laundromat and coffee shop and upstairs was a little bar/concert venue. I got to see some awesome acts there like Olivia Tremor Control, Drive-By Truckers, and Ryan Adams and the Cardinals.

Cat's Cradle is another awesome NC place (in Carrboro) with some legendary history and I was psyched to finally get to a show there back in '01. I had never looked up photos of it before and just figured it was an old theatre like Detroit's Fox Theatre. My buddy and I pull up to the address and find out it's just like an old building in a nondescript 1960's strip mall. It was still pretty cool inside: not very large, low ceilings, great sound, and you can get right up to the stage. I was not disappointed.

Some of the other more memorable venues I've been to are places that aren't traditional concert venues like museums, stores, bowling alleys, libraries, farms, etc. The best in this category was a place called Scruggs University in a very dirty loft building in a non-gentrified area of Detroit about 15 years ago. Once we got inside we realized it was actually somebody's living space but somehow they managed to book some awesome acts like Dan Deacon, Girl Talk, and Will Oldham. I'm sure we were way over capacity, I doubt the place had any permits, and it was probably a disaster waiting to happen.

Schuba's, mentioned above, might be my all time favorite just because of how small and intimate it is.
 

The Terminator

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Loudhouse Montréal RIP


It was like a little slice of CBGBs circa 1984 transported to the Montréal of 2008-2018. Anyting goes as long as you were respectful, was in an ungentrified (at the time) part of town close to the Port, so you could get away with loud noises into the night. You could find anything you wanted there ;) It got evicted to make way for condos.

casadelpopolo-1024x683.jpg


Casa del Popolo is Montréal's longest running independent venue at this point. Thankfully they own the building and have been able to wither the panddmic. Its kind of like a gathering place for all the hipsters, punks, goths, indie weirdos etc. and on any given night pre pandemic, I would see someone I knew there. Ive had many formative experiences here. I eagerly await Casa's return.

Plenty more to come, I spent the entirety of my 20s hanging out in indie venues.
 
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