Discussion in 'Tour Forum' started by ccsc918, Feb 28, 2018.
Discuss different concert venues you have been to and list your favorites!
Favorite: Palladium - Worcester, MA - I think it's just perfect size for shows and they typically get my type of music
Worst: Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA - while up close and personal the layout is not my favorite, parking sucks in that area too
Favorite: Pageant - St. Louis MO - Great small venue and one of the best places to see a show in the States
Worst: Any venue thats a amphitheater
Favorite: Union transfer- Philadelphia,pa - easy to get to, amazing sound, amazing staff, overall amazing setup.
Least favorite: gamechangerworld - Howell,nj - worst sound system I’ve experienced, and overall didn’t enjoy my experiences here
While I do generally have my gripes with the paradise. Parking is actually solid agganis arena is like one street over and the garage has never been more then $10 for me. Also raising canes is like 2 buildings over. And makes choosing the paradise a great choice.
The palladium is home though
Had no idea you could park in an Agganis lot, good to know.
Oh man, I could do a deep dive on the Montreal venues if anyone cared about that.
Go for it
Placeholder post, when I have time later tonight I'll do a breakdown of Portland, Eugene, and Salem venues
Hawthorne Theater: Probably the definition of a middle of the road venue. Sounds ok, good view of the stage anywhere in the venue, almost entirely plain. Only real issues are that sometimes they will oversell a show and you might get stuck in the hallway without a great view, and they have merch set up in the small hallway you have to get through to leave, So getting out after a show can be hell.
There's also a lounge here that hosts some cool smaller shows, but again is nothing too special.
Analog Cafe: Upstairs is absolute hell if the show is packed, stage is basically floor level and obstructed by poles so getting a decent view of the stage is tough unless you're in the first couple rows of people.
Downstairs is honestly my ideal venue. Real intimate, great view anywhere in the room, cheap bar, unlimited re-entry. A show being upstairs vs. downstairs is a legit deal breaker for me here.
Crystal Ballroom: One of the more popular bigger venues in town, absolutely gorgeous place and great sound. But the stage is tucked in a corner so if you're getting a drink you're gonna be pretty far from the stage. Spring loaded floor is real cool. Lots of Pros and Cons to this place.
Wonder Ballroom: my least favorite venue in town, which is apparently an uncommon opinion. Very wide venue with a shallow stage, they basically split the venue down the middle for 21+ & AA sections. Good view from anywhere in the venue. There's also a pretty good sandwhich shop downstairs!
Roseland Theater: Gets a lot of bigger shows, stage is big enough to hold most stage production elements. 2 big poles in the room can cause some issues with sight lines. The seating here is limited, but if you get there early enough to get a good seat then you get a pretty cushy concert experience.
Star Theater: Multi-Tiered floor gives a great view of the stage anywhere in the venue. Fire pit outside gives the venue a nice place to relax between sets. Doesn't get that many good shows though.
Mississippi Studios: Small place, great sound, real cool wrap around awning with seats. Only been here once so I don't have much familiarity with the place.
When I have some time this week I'll edit it into my post above.
Favorite Venues: Express Live Outdoor (Columbus), Echo Beach (Toronto), Jacobs Pavilion (Cleveland)
i'll copy and paste my post from the other thread eventually
I've actually only seen concerts at the Xfinity Center and Fenway park lol
Here to back the previous post about Union Transfer in Philly. Great layout, location, sound and staff.
Also The Fillmore in Philly is awesome as well. Spacious layout yet you never feel too far away from the stage, terrific sound, plenty of bars and good service. The only issue with that venue is that parking can be a pain in the ass.
Festival Pier is also a fun spot to see a show outdoors.
Worst? Electric Factory (shitty sound), First Unitarian (practically no ventilation in that place), Chameleon Club in Lancaster (staff can be rude, heard several stories of people being bullied or harassed at shows & security does nothing about it, gets really crammed, etc.), any amphitheater ever.
I think everyone has the same complaint about the pier and it’s the sand, other than that I’d take that over bb&t pavilion any day
the church is hot as shit but they get some great shows and i've enjoyed my time there
As far as Minneapolis goes, my favorite *was* Triple Rock but they closed last year. I'll go with First Ave, it's just so iconic.
C&P'ed my thoughts on Chicago area venues from the other thread:
No DIY spaces, arenas, or amphitheaters are mentioned here. Just an FYI
Beat Kitchen (Roscoe Village) - 200-300 cap, good beer selection (and cheap - $2 LaCrosse Lagers), easy parking, good sound, good intimate venue though it can get super chilly during the summer. Also has decent food.Books all genres within the purview of this site.
Subterranean (Wicker Park) - Main room is ~400 cap, downstairs is ~100 cap. Good transit access as it's right next to the Blue Line. Decent prices and selection on drinks. Parking in the neighborhood is horrible. Downstairs feels like a nice DIY space with a stage 6 inches off the ground and mediocre sound to boot. Doesn't really matter too much when you're inches away from the band. Main room (upstairs) has decent sound and awkward sightlines, but I like the space a lot. Books all genres within the purview of this site.
Reggies (South Loop) - Rock club is 400-500 cap, music joint is 100-150 cap. The rock club has good sound, reasonably priced drinks, and ample areas to relax when you want to get away from the action. The music joint is a restaurant with a stage. They have good burgers and tacos. Good tap selection with decently priced drinks. Parking in the area is pretty good especially with Spothero spaces nearby. Books a lot of metal and punk. Probably my personal favorite venue in the area.
House of Blues (Near North/Downtown) - Not a fan of the venue, but it exists. ~1200(?) cap. Easy transit access. Good luck finding parking near the place that isn't $15. Expensive drinks. Good sound though.
Empty Bottle (UK Village) - Legendary punk dive. Only 21+ shows. Cheap drinks, solid sound. Parking can be a bit rough. Good transit access. My only complaint about the place is shows there don't start until 9-10ish so prepare for a late night.
Schuba's (Roscoe Village) - Nice little neighborhood bar with a 150-200 cap space in the back of it. Great sound for a smaller venue and a nice space. Parking is decent nearby. Reasonably priced drinks.
Lincoln Hall (Lincoln Park) - Good 500ish cap venue near DePaul. Excellent sound. Good food options at the venue and nearby. Decently priced drinks. Parking is a hassle.
Livewire Lounge (Avondale/Irving Park) - Polish punk rock bar. 21+. Hosts a lot of metal and punk shows. Bit of a dive, but cheap drinks and nice staff. Layout is small and sound isn't great, but I enjoy the space a lot. It has a nice charm to it.
Aragon Ballroom (Uptown) - Chicago's largest venue that isn't an arena AFAIK. Nice looking space that's aged well. Parking is decent. Sound is awful. Have only been here twice so I can't comment on it too much other than that.
Riviera Theatre (Uptown) - Nice venue. Around -2500 cap IIRC. Sound is pretty good. Drinks are a bit expensive. Parking is decent.
Vic Theatre (Lakeview) - Nice space. Parking in the area is awful. Sound is decent. Have only been there once, and it's been a few years so I can't comment on it too much.
Thalia Hall (Pilsen) - One of the newer venues in the city. It's a great space. ~1000 cap. Sound is phenomenal. Parking can be rough. Dusek's right under the venue is Michelin Star-Rated restaurant.
Bottom Lounge (West Town) - Feels like a warehouse converted into a nice music venue. Drinks are a bit expensive, but a nice tap selection. There's a restaurant in the venue that serves okay food. Sound is good. IDK why but shows there that fill out always feel way too crowded. Ample free street parking nearby.
Cobra Lounge (West Town) - Small venue attached to a brewery (All Rise). Serves great burgers and fries. Sound can be a bit iffy, but the space is really nice. House beers are good but not exceptional. Books a lot of good metal and punk acts.
Metro (Lakeview) - Good venue, decent sound, 1100 cap. Not a huge fan of the layout. The sound is great though. Right near Wrigley Field so parking is shitty, but there is some free parking north of the venue on Clark.
Gman Tavern (Lakeview) - Next door to the Metro. Neighborhood punk bar near one of the main party districts in the city. Occasionally has shows in the back room. The sound sucks in there, but the space is well utilized.
The Burlington (Logan Square) - Little dive bar with a small stage in the back room. Cheap drinks, decent sound, good parking.
Quencher's (Logan Square) - Great beer bar, good location, parking can kinda suck, sound is okay though. Shows do tend to run late there so beware.
Concord Music Hall (Logan Square) - Good sound, good location, mediocre drink selection, and can be a bit pricey. Not a huge fan of this venue and their security. Haven't been back in a while so I can't comment on it too much.
Other venues in the city I have never been to:
The Hideout (Goose lsland-ish)
East Room (Logan Square)
Park West (Lincoln Park)
Logan Square Auditorium (Not Logan Square)
Chop Shop (Wicker Park)
Cafe Mustache (Logan Square)
Cole's (Logan Square)
Emporium Wicker Park (Not Wicker Park)
Old Town School of Folk Music (North Center/Lincoln Square)
The Constellation (Roscoe Village)
Portage Theater (Six Corners)
Hungry Brain (Roscoe Village)
Kingston Mines (Lincoln Park)
Green Mill (Uptown)
Venues in the suburbs with commentary about the ones I have been to:
The Forge (Joilet) - wasn't a fan of this place at all when it was Mojoe's. Reputation seems to have improved a bit under the re-branding, but I haven't been back since so I can't comment.
Durty Nellie's (Palatine)
Royal Skate Shop (Lansing)
Wire (Berwyn) - nice place
Grayslake Oasis (Grayslake)
Cracken Cakes (Beach Park)
Centennial Lanes (Tinley Park)
Bada Brew (Crest Hill)
Penny Road Pub (Barrington)
Township (Logan Square)
Double Door (Wicker Park)
Ultra Lounge (Logan Square)
Congress Theatre (Logan Square) - actually, good riddance
For NYC venues, my favorites:
Manhattan - Public Arts/Public Hotel
Brooklyn - Elsewhere and BK Steel
Manhattan - Terminal 5
Brooklyn - Rough Trade (Mostly for the sound)
Copy and pasting my more detailed posts from the Tour thread, all based on the West Coast...
The Showbox: One of my favorite venues ever. 1,200 cap. GA floor pit with several tiered sections behind it. Can be hard to find a good spot from upper level, but the floor is massive so there's pretty much no reason not to be on it. Great sound, great crowds, great vibes.
Showbox SoDo: Not one of my favorites. A few miles down the road from the Showbox proper, it's right next to Safeco Field, our baseball stadium. SoDo is clearly a converted warehouse, can hold about 1,500. Ground is completely flat, so really no way to get a good view unless you're up close, and even then, not really. Sound was okay.
Neumos: 400-500 cap venue that seems to nab all the major artists that can't play the Showbox. Has a downstairs (Barboza) that I haven't been to, an adjacent bar, and (majorly revamped) restaurant right out front. Surrounded by lots of good bars/restaurants. Venue itself is okay, always crowded and difficult to get a good view if you wanna be close. Never tried upstairs since it always looks crowded AF. Sounds good.
El Corazon: Pretty much THE punk rock dive in Seattle and where I went to my very first concert. Covered in stickers, holes in the ceiling, stupid support beam on stage right, but it doesn't matter, always good times and vibes here. All ages, adjacent bar has tiny stage of its own (The Funhouse), also added a pretty decent restaurant out front.
The Crocodile: About 300 cap, also has upstairs with overhead view. Floor is decent as long as you don't get stuck in the alcove to the right. Has an overpriced pizza restaurant next door. Mostly if you wanna stand and drink at a show, except when I saw Refused here, when I almost died.
Paramount Theater: Saw Book of Mormon here, all purpose performance hall. In good shape, nice amenities, murals on the ceilings, good sound.
Moore Theater: Old, ooooold theater on the edge of downtown. Saw Tim & Eric here last year, could only afford nosebleeds, which were way, way, way up. Good view of stage undercut by how narrow and stacked the seats are, not great if you have vertigo. Also, like many old buildings in the area, doesn't have air conditioning, had to leave an hour in cuz it was August and I was dying.
Neptune: Super cool venue with blue-green color scheme and cast iron faces of Neptune in front of the light fixtures! Great sound, also has a tea bar up the street with the best tea I've ever tasted.
Chop Suey: Small space with jumbled layout and confusing decor, seems like they're trying to lean away from the culturally appropriating look it probably started out with. Only been here once when it way undersold, had a fun time but could see how that could really change if it was a sold out show. Had an amazing burger here, though! (Also, they host Emo Nite here.)
The Vera Project: Really cool DIY venue right next to the Space Needle. For a non-profit in an expensive spot, it's actually quite spacious and clean. I've never seen it sold out. All ages, with a lot of changing art on the walls and little exhibitions. Always happy whenever I get to go here.
Studio 7: In the industrial part of town, pretty much books any and all metal acts that come through. Massive space, both downstairs and upstairs. Saw The Chariot on their farewell tour here (only my 2nd show!) and I can't imagine a better venue for it.
Victory Lounge: It's a bar. It's cramped.
Marymoor Park: Just outside of Seattle in a town called Redmond, probably my favorite outdoor venue I've ever been to. Lawn area totally doesn't suck, it's a nice raised hill around the seated area that gives everyone a good view. Surrounded by trees. Can't bring your own drinks, but good food trucks. One of the chillest places for a summer show I've ever been to.
Key Arena: Right next to the Space Needle. It's an arena. It's okay, pretty navigable. Seats are a little on the small side, but good layout with good views.
Of the few places around I still haven't been in the area...
White River Amphitheater (heard nothing but bad things)
The Gorge (heard nothing but good things, but far away. Sasquatch fest is here every year)
Tacoma Dome (drive by it every time I head north)
LOS ANGELES AREA
The Wiltern: My favorite venue the whole time I lived there. Love that you can tell it used to be a movie palace in the 30's or 40's. Reminds me of The Showbox in terms of great sound and good vibes. Love the two story structure and the layout of the floor. Only real complaint I can lodge against it is the food and drink pricing - it's ridiculous even by L.A. standards.
Teragram Ballroom: Cool little venue I wish I went to more often! Love the whole blue-tinted color scheme. Getting a good view can be a little hard, but the sound and bands were always good.
Belasco Theater: Started booking a surprising amount of tours I wanted to see not long before I left. Nice enough, but I dunno - just feels kinda 'douchey' to me.
The Mayan: Right next door to the Belasco. Only went there once but it is indeed designed like a Mayan temple on the inside, which was fun for me!
The Novo: Located in the LA Live plaza where Staples Center is situated. As I understand it, used to be called Club Nokia. Definitely one of the most 'chic' places I've ever seen a show - feels like a dance club that occasionally does rock and comedy shows, so I never felt super comfortable there. Staff are nice enough but really strict, also a bouncer threatened to kick me out because I took candy from the bathroom and didn't realize I needed to tip.
El Rey: Small-ish theater with standing room floor and some raised areas on the side. Never recalled getting a good view, but at least never felt claustrophobic. Good sound, a little stuffy.
Shrine Expo Hall: Adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. Pretty much just a giant room. Not much to look at, but good for massive circle pits and taking a break from said pits.
Theater at The Ace Hotel: Only went here once for Game Grumps Live, but a gorgeous theater with great sound! Crowd was absolutely nuts, can't imagine what seeing an actual band there would be like.
Orpheum Theater: In the same district as Ace Hotel, also gorgeous if a little more 'refined' in terms of atmosphere.
Resident: Little bar in a super gentrified part of town, but what can I say - it's a place where you can tolerate being part of the problem. Real nice decor, vibes, and drink selection.
Still plenty of places I never got to check out in this part of town, including...
Echoplex (though I did go to The Echo once)
LOS ANGELES AREA
The Roxy: It's famous, so you need to go there at least once. That said, I fucking hate this place. Left side is a roped off VIP area with seating and tables, and then the right where everybody else is. Stage is in the corner, bar on the back wall, and they cram about 500 people in there, which I'm sure is about 200 more than they can fit safely. Never had a pleasant experience here, which makes it more frustrating considering how many good bands play there.
Whiskey-a-Go-Go: Just down the street from the Roxy, seems to host exclusively metal shows these days. Still pretty crowded, but layout is a lot better and has an upstairs with merch and almost uniformally decent view. Also, saw maybe the most buckwild crowd I've ever seen where 20 dudes locked arms with each other and started headbanging in unision, so y'know, that's a standout.
Troubadour: Of the WeHo clubs, this one is the best, hands down. I doubt you'll hear any different. Bar off to the side at entrance where they have merch, upstairs has a weird bleachers set up and another bar to the side with bay windows to look at the stage, but the floor is where it's at. Sound and atmosphere are always great. Go there if you can.
Hollywood Palladium: Probably the biggest non-arena venue I've ever been to, holds 2,500 I believe. Absolutely massive floor flanked on either side by balconies. Nothing super special about it, but nothing bad either.
Fonda Theater: Really cool little venue that I haven't had the chance to go to often enough. Two story floor/balcony of a lot LA venues (I'm just now realizing), but just a nice vibe to it - cool period light fixtures and murals on the walls. Sound was good too, from what I recall.
The Greek Theater: Kinda skirting the edge of Hollywood, but I'm counting it. On the way to the Griffith Observatory, absolutely gorgeous venue. Don't know how they pulled this off architecturally, but every seat feels unusually close to the stage. Great venue for summer shows.
Never got the chance to hit up the Hollywood Bowl, that's one venue I definitely want to go to sometime in the future!
I don't think I have the energy to do NC and VA breakdown but I'll try NC.
NC - Favorite venue, was Amos Southend in Charlotte before it closed down. Cat's Cradle in Carrboro/Chapel Hill seems to be the best overall venue. Cap is about 750 and only complaints are that the floor can be really slippery on a hot night. It's also generally easy to run into band members there.
Other notable venues in NC
Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh - cap is prob under 600, sold out shows there are hard to move around in. Pit area is very small, balcony has good view if you are into that. Acoustics are top notch. Doesn't get too dark.
The Ritz in Raleigh - probably second or third best venue in the state. Cap is probably around 1200. Used to be awful when public smoking was still allowed as the way smoke would fill the room was unbearable. There is a massive pillar in the middle of the floor that circle pits like to use as a starting point but it can definitely affect your view if you stand a few feet behind it. Acoustics are possibly the best in the state.
Arizona Pete's in Greensboro - cap is 650, sold out shows give plenty of space. Acoustics are only okay, floor is pretty sweet. Hardwood floors and lots of room. Can also get super dark.
Fillmore Charlotte - cap is 2000, rarely sells out. Great venue to stand and listen. Not fun to be involved in the pit. Security sucks. Drinks are overpriced. Fuck Live Nation, etc. Always has a barricade. Just a super strict venue. The positive is that the acoustics are the best in the state.
Worst venue, by far Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte. Acoustics are atrocious and the floor is slanted downward. Good luck trying not to fall when dancing in the pit. Also very, very dark. Parking sucks there too.
If I missed any someone please let me know.
LOS ANGELES AREA
A local like @johnnyferris would probably be better at covering this than me, but of the venues I went to...
Chain Reaction: I don't know how legendary it really is, but it was a legendary venue for me and it lived up to the hype. About 300 cap, literally inside of a strip mall, you wouldn't know it's there unless you're looking for it. All ages, no re-entry (annoying because of small size), but inside is decent layout with open mosh area and little space off to the side if you'd rather stand and watch. T-shirts of bands who have played there are stapled to the walls, some of them go waaayyy back! Also on walls are signs saying not to mosh or crowdsurf which I think are an ironic joke. If you're down for a rowdy show, always a good time here!
The Observatory: Pretty much the mid-size venue in OC from what I can tell, and it fucking sucks. It looks nice enough, and parking's pretty easy (I just always parked at the office buildings a couple blocks over), but the inside is a relatively small floor pit with several tiered sections around it with low visibility. People are always trying to get in and out of the pit, which means it's always overflowing, and none of this is helped by the fact that I'm sure they always oversell this place. Has a side stage (Constellation Room) that has no definite boundaries which also compounds the problem. Never went to Chain Fest here, but by all accounts it was a death trap, and I don't doubt it. Learned to dread coming here, especially when bands would inexplicably make this their only SoCal date.
House of Blues: Seems like a chain that divides people, but I liked it well enough. No longer in Downtown Disney but in a shopping mall nearby (so parking's easy enough, validated at venue.) Has a side stage (The Parish) I never got to check out. As many people have pointed out, kinda of a clusterfuck if you don't get there early enough to stake your claim on the floor, but I enjoyed it well enough (balcony is clearly VIP seating). Saw Yellowcard's last show here, so that was a barnburner. Also, had some bomb-ass egg rolls here, so it's not all bad!
EDIT: Also, good goddamn riddance to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, one of the least convenient amphitheaters ever conceived. Assuming you didn't get stuck for an hour on the freeway offramp waiting to get in, you would have to trek at least 10 mins from where you parked, go through security, and then walk for another 10 mins through winding grounds to even get to your seats. Missed at least half of Panic! at the Disco's co-headliner with Weezer because of this. I know it got shut down in 2016, and I believe they were gonna put up residential housing in its stead. However, I have been seeing tours playing at a 'FivePoints Amphitheater' in Irvine. Is this in the same place?
I've only been two LA a few times and never been to any of these venues but isn't the Shrine Auditorium all seats? Unless people circle pit in the aisles.