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Music venues
Old 10-11-2018, 07:37 PM   #1
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Music venues

There have been many music threads but I donít see one regarding halls, venues, bars, or back porches. Iíve been to some memorable performances for all kinds of music and I got to thinking about the diversity of the places that they happened.

Anyone have any live performance stories to tell? Two that stick in my mind but are completely different come to mind.

Weill Recital Hall is the most recent venue we went to. Itís a beautiful, intimate hall perfect for small classical ensembles. The fact that DD was one of the performers may have something to do with ranking it so highly but the acoustics were amazing.

Years ago we got to see a fabulous show in a local bar that held maybe a couple hundred of the most boisterous partiers of just about any show Iíve attended. The musicians (Strength in Numbers) said at the time that between Edgar Meyer sitting in and the energy of the crowd it was the most Ďfuní they had had playing in a long time. Sadly, the Muehlebacher changed hands and the music scene moved on from them.

Redrocks, Wolf Trap, and some hole in the wall I havenít discovered yet are on my bucket list. Anyone care to recommend their favorite venue or share concert stories?
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:11 PM   #2
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I think it is more about music than venues. But I love Wolf Trap and the Birchmere in Alexandria.

I would like to see one at Red Rocks.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:13 PM   #3
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Main Street Crossing in Tomball (Houston)

The Kessler in Oak Cliff (Dallas)
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:41 PM   #4
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We attended a Chris Isaac concert this summer. It was fantastic. A local athletic club is sort of in financial peril. So the last couple years they bring in 4 or 5 acts for the lawn area. We were literally 50 feet from the stage. It was just as if Chris was in our back yard. We love Chris' shows. But this one was special. Mrs Scrapr was in the mosh pit the entire show
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:41 PM   #5
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There are a lot of great music venues in Los Angeles and it's a great city for music. There are the larger venues like the Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theater, but for smaller venues where you can see live music and have a drink or eat dinner while watching the show, we like The Canyon in Agoura Hills. A lot of bands from the 70's and 80's perform there. We have seen bands such as Foreigner, Asia, Blue Oyster Cult, David Gates and many others.

In West Palm Beach Florida there is the Kravis Center for Performing Arts. It is a fabulous place with fantastic acoustics.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:33 PM   #6
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Music venues

Back in my youth, Louisville Gardens and Freedom Hall were the venues for major acts, plus a few bars in Louisville, names of which I canít recall some forty years later...

My one year in Atlanta, saw the Allman Bros, Marshall Tucker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Grinderís Switch at the now razed Fulton Co. Stadium. Saw Yes, Manfred Mann, and Blue Oyster Cult at some arena on the Ga. Tech campus, plus some more local acts at The Electric Ballroom, Great Southeast Music Hall, and Hot Lanta. Also saw The Charlie Daniels band at the Great American Raft Race.

Also that year, my roomies and I drove my VW to Tampa to see CSNY in some football stadium, on a college campus, iirc.

A van load of us drove from Indiana to Memphis to see the Rolling Stones at Memphis Memorial Stadium. July 4, 1975.

In the DFW area, havenít been to a big venue for several years. Still go to some smaller theaters, like The Granada, The Majestic, Verizon Theater...

A few random memories...

Saw Billy Cobham at Poor Davidís Pub in Dallas, when it was on Lower Greenville. Saw Roy Buchanan, John Hartford, and Brewer and Shipley there as well.

Saw Kiss at Alex Cooleyís Electric Ballroom in Atlanta, 1974. Left during the third song... 🤮

Slept through Earlís Scruggís Revue in Buckhead/Atlanta that same year at The Great Southeast Music Hall.

Saw Loudin Wainwright III, Stanley Clarke/Jean-Luc Ponty/Al DiMeola, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Lee Ritenour, and maybe a couple more at various shows at The Caravan of Dreams in Ft. Worth. Have seen a few shows (Kansas, Junior Brown, David Allen Coe) at Billy Bobís as well.

Granada: Emerson/Lake, Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, Johnny Winter, Jr. Brown, Zappa Plays Zappa, Snarky Puppy, Eric Johnson, Mike Stern, Chris Knight, Billy Cobham, Victor Wooten

Majestic: Al DiMeola, Kansas, John Prine

Verizon: Steely Dan, Jeff Beck (x2), Zappa Plays Zappa, Jackson Browne

Starplex, or whatever they call it now, on the state fairgrounds: Steely Dan, Allman Bros., B.B. King, James Taylor, Steve Miller, Toby Keith

Been to more concerts than I can remember...
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:57 AM   #7
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My co-worker in Memphis had a roommate that was a local agent for bands. He had an old movie theatre rented on Madison Avenue that he rented out for various occasions.

One night, a record label rented the building to put on a private new artist showcase for the industry. I didn't take time to go down there.

The artists were Billy Joel and the Doobie Brothers.

Boy, did I screw up. They were beyond fabulous.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:34 AM   #8
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It's a somewhat private venue. My sister lets a friend's band practice in "the shop", a 40'x40' Butler building on her farm. Word goes out through the hood beforehand. The band arrives. Folks from the hood bring covered dishes and coolers. Good food, good drink, good music, good fellowship. It's lovely.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:15 AM   #9
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There are a lot of great music venues in Los Angeles and it's a great city for music. There are the larger venues like the Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theater, but for smaller venues where you can see live music and have a drink or eat dinner while watching the show, we like The Canyon in Agoura Hills. A lot of bands from the 70's and 80's perform there. We have seen bands such as Foreigner, Asia, Blue Oyster Cult, David Gates and many others.

In West Palm Beach Florida there is the Kravis Center for Performing Arts. It is a fabulous place with fantastic acoustics.


Love the Greek Theatre. Such a beautiful setting. For smaller shows, Thornton Winery in Temecula has some great jazz concerts and seating is general admission. We usually get front row seats there. Recently saw David Benoit and the Rippingtons there, sitting a few feet from them in the front row. The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano is another intimate venue.

One venue I hated was the Rose Bowl. Went to see Taylor Swift there in May. Absolutely horrendous traffic both in and out. If I ever go there again, Iíll take public transportation and/or Uber and get out and walk once the traffic piles up.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:49 AM   #10
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The Madison, Wis., area, has some interesting venues. I'm partial to the Stoughton Opera House, a restored 1900-era auditorium in the Stoughton, Wis., City Hall. This year's season includes Shawn Colvin, Leo Kottke, Loudon Wainwright, Robyn Hitchcock as well as some bluegrass stalwarts like Del McCoury. It's a beautiful little hall, although the restored seats are not upholstered and get a little firm after 90 minutes.


In Madison itself, a woman hosts concerts in the basement of her home in a residential north side neighborhood. Kiki's House of Righteous Music hosts mostly local musicians, but occasionally a better-known act will perform. Here's her Facebook page.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:36 AM   #11
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Best acoustics I've ever heard were at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam.


Best sound would probably be watching B.B. King playing at his place one night on Beale Street in Memphis. That's just because I was about 20 feet away.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:41 AM   #12
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Love the Greek Theatre. Such a beautiful setting. For smaller shows, Thornton Winery in Temecula has some great jazz concerts and seating is general admission. We usually get front row seats there. Recently saw David Benoit and the Rippingtons there, sitting a few feet from them in the front row. The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano is another intimate venue.

One venue I hated was the Rose Bowl. Went to see Taylor Swift there in May. Absolutely horrendous traffic both in and out. If I ever go there again, Iíll take public transportation and/or Uber and get out and walk once the traffic piles up.
I don't like concerts in large stadiums. But we are going to go to one in a couple of week at the Staples Center (Bruno Mars 24K Magic tour). My wife really wants to go. My wife and her sisters are crazy about Bruno Mars. I bought the tickets for her 50th Birthday. We have been there many times to see the Lakers but never for a concert. We got good tickets (Floor 5 section). Hopefully the show will be good.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:37 AM   #13
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Music venues

Iím a member of the Redneck Country Club in Houston, TX. Itís a great venue for country music and Iíve seen some great acts, including Wille Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Earl Keen, Pat Green, Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, Wayne Toups, Gary P Nunn, David Allen Coe, Asleep at the Wheel, Dale Watson, Rodney Crowell, Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels and many others.

I like it that it generally has a bit older, more mature crowd than most clubs/venues. They cater to a patriotic crowd and are unabashedly pro-military, opening every show with a salute to veterans and offering free RCC memberships to all veterans in attendance. A great place to spend an evening.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:46 AM   #14
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Though this is an outdoor venue, Red Rocks in Colorado gave me the best mix of beauty and great music ever.

In the old days it was the Paramount in Portland. Now re-named there is still it's sister venue in Seattle.

Anywhere on Beale Street in Memphis
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:19 AM   #15
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I'm originally from Nashville, and the old Ryman Auditorium (original Grand Ole Opry house) has incredible acoustics. Someone at center stage can be heard clearly at normal voice levels. Needless to say, everyone that is someone has entertained there--or will be coming there. They use it for the Opry a couple of months of the year and concerts are there the rest of the year.

The list of music stars living in Nashville area is nothing short of incredible, and they very often pop into dive bars and small music venues when off the road. They also throw on shows for charity purposes all year long--mostly during the week.

I now live 2 hours south of Nashville in Muscle Shoals. It's another music city with an incredible history of big hit music. Jason Isbell, Patterson Hood, John Paul White, and Mac McAnally are from here and can often be seen entertaining in local venues--up close and personal.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:36 AM   #16
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The Ryman is a fabulous house Bamaman. Seems like we can all agree that fitting the music to the venue makes all the difference.

Has anyone been to the Sidney Opera House? If the acoustics rival the architecture it must be awesome.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:06 PM   #17
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During the summer I live in the northwestern North Carolina mountains right off the Blue Ridge Parkway (Linville, NC) . About 20 minutes south of where we live, right on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is The Orchard at Altapass. It is a 100 year old apple orchard. The apple barn has been turned into a music venue (primarily bluegrass and some country). Five days a week there is live music, with 2 bands on Saturday afternoon and 2 bands on Sunday afternoon ( all free, they pass a tip basket). The place is usually packed and almost everyone dances (primarily clogging, flatfooting, mountain two step with a few waltzes thrown in, you got to see it to believe it). What a great place to listen and dance to live music. If you are ever on the North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway you should stop at the Orchard at Altapass. Open May through October.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:08 PM   #18
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:10 PM   #19
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Best Venue by far: Red Rocks, Colorado

Since I live in the NJ/NY area most of my experience is local:

Honorable mention: Bethel Performing Arts Center (on the hollowed grounds of the Woodstock festival - beautiful venue).

Town Hall, NYC - probably holds 800- 1000 at most. Saw Frampton there.

NJ Performing Arts Center small place also - saw Fogerty there and Jerry Seinfeld.

There were some great places that sadly are no longer around:

The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, NYC. Fantastic, small place you can have dinner there.

CBGB's - small grungy place in the Bowery. Witnessed the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, etc before they were known.

Max's Kansas City - same type of place as CBGB's, with the same artists.

Wollman Rink, Central Park - outdoor for summer concerts in the heart of NYC in an iconic place. Tickets were less than $5 with pretty big acts.

Calderone Concert Hall - somewhere on Long Island. (remember seeing the J. Geils Band).

Capital Theatre, Passaic NJ. Great venue, Saw Lou Reed.

Worst venues:

Any big stadium, like Giant Stadium

Here are two that thankfully are not around for concerts - just awful:

JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. 1978 I believe. Had tickets for the Stones. Foreigner was the opening act. The show was good but.....Nobody had reserved seats -all were general admission. When they opened the gates, 60,000 fans or so all rushed in at the same time. Very dangerous situation, kind of like the running of the bulls in Spain!

Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City. Such a depressing looking place, although they had great triple headers, and major artists like Rod Stewart and Faces, Ten Years After, Doobie Brothers, etc.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:43 PM   #20
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Haven’t been there in a few years but McCabe’s guitar store in Santa Monica CA has a small back room used for shows and I’ve seen a few great ones there (Dan Hicks and Roseanne Cash come to mind). A chance to see an artist you like in a room about the size of your garage.
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