Concert Venue Discussion Thread Tour • Page 2

Discussion in 'Tour Forum' started by ccsc918, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. GEM37

    The Day Star Approaches, You Know What It Brings

    Only went there once for a Rise Against off date. It's big enough that I imagine they can put seats in/out as needed.
  2. RobJGolde

    Wrecked 'em? Damn near killed 'em!

    Yeah I have a hard time being critical of the Church simply for the fact that they always book great shows. But it does get deathly hot in there. I saw Envy on the Coast there on their 2010 farewell tour in August, and pretty much wanted to die by the end.
  3. RobJGolde

    Wrecked 'em? Damn near killed 'em!

    Oh I forgot to add that The Croc Rock in Allentown, PA (RIP) was only a good place to see a show if you were on the floor or on the right side of the room closer to the front. The view got steadily worse the further back you got.

    Also, Xfinity Live's outdoor stage is fun. I saw TBS there in September 2015. I think that space held 4000-5000 people.
    Citizen's Bank Park is also pretty good, albeit expensive af (but that's to be expected). I had floor seats to Bruce Springsteen there in 2012, and I saw Billy Joel there in September in the seats near home plate along the 3rd base line. The sound/acoustics were great both times.
    Fronnyfron likes this.
  4. TheSlyTurtle


    Favorite: 3 Way tie: Iron City in Birmingham, AL; The Tabernacle in Atlanta; The Roxy in Atlanta
    Worse: Seven Venue in Douglasville, GA (thank goodness it's gone)
  5. ccsc918

    huge all time low fan

    St. Louis Area

    The Pageant:
    One of the best places to catch a show, From pretty much anywhere in the venue you can see the stage perfectly because the floor is elevated and there is a elevated balcony. The website isn't lying when it says that from everywhere you stand you are within 20 feet from the stage. It has a 3,000 cap so a lot of bigger acts play at this venue.

    The Firebird:
    Very typical pop punk venue however this venue is very tiny I found. My last show at this venue was Real Friends and I was barricade. Typical bar venue, stretched out stage but its great to see a show here.

    Long venue but small, Lots of pop punk acts play here. There is two stages in this venue one small and one large. I've only seen one show at this venue so I can't say a lot.

    Delmar Hall:
    Very long venue, Like a mini pageant with its elevated standing spots. From anywhere you can see perfectly. The sound is actually incredible, Best sound of all the STL venues. 800 cap.

    Blueberry Hill Duck Room:
    Eh venue, Eh sound and Eh stage. The stage is long as hell, longer than the width of the venue and the sound is just alright.

    Old Rock House:
    Worst Lighting of any St. Louis venue, like who the fuck thought it was a good idea to put windows in.

    St. Charles Arena:
    Typical arena

    Chafietz Arena:
    Saw The Killers and most recently A Day To Remember here. My favorite arena of all time, the sound is incredible and from anywhere you are so close to the stage because this venue is small.

    Scottrade Center:
    Typical large arena with large sounds and mainly large bands play here.
  6. johnnyferris

    Sic Parvis Magna Prestigious

    I’ve seen Thrice at the Shrine twice now and both were amazing sold out shows. You’re probably thinking of the actual auditorium where they used to have the Oscars. It’s all part of the building and I’m pretty sure that still has seats. Now where @GEM37 said he saw RA is the Expo Hall which is just a giant floor with a overlooking balcony on either side.
  7. GEM37

    The Day Star Approaches, You Know What It Brings

    Ah! Did not realize that! Will correct it in my OP.
    ccsc918 likes this.
  8. Phil507

    Regular Prestigious

    Ah did not realize that. Thanks. Was curious since I thought the Shrine (like you mentioned) was this prestigious theater.
  9. Steve_JustAGuy Feb 28, 2018
    (Last edited: Feb 28, 2018)


    The Hideout (Goose lsland-ish): Pretty much a house that was converted into a bar/music room. Don't really book huge acts (I saw Will Butler from Arcade Fire there) but it's a super cool place to experience if you find an act you like that's playing there. In the middle of an industrial park. I'd advise taking an Uber, although it's near North Ave so you could probably bus it, but it's probably safer to not walk around back streets to get there.

    Park West (Lincoln Park): Reminds me of the club in Scarface that gets shot up. Got to get there real early for table, or stick to the GA floor. You can head upstairs and see if you can grab a stool or railing space (which I would advise if you don't want to stand).

    Hungry Brain (Roscoe Village): Live right on this street, but have never been. Doesn't seem to be the place where you're going to catch any bands of note.

    Kingston Mines (Lincoln Park): Pretty legendary blues bar. Two stages and two different bands every night, so there's always music being played, but it's only the blues. You'll pay a cover, but you'll have an enjoyable evening if you like blues music. Rolling Stones used to love playing there way back in the day.

    Green Mill (Uptown): Jazz club. You're here for the performance, so if you don't like jazz, or want to talk with a group of people you probably should go elsewhere. I don't recall it to be a place to really socialize.

    Venues in the suburbs:

    Durty Nellie's (Palatine): Right off the train tracks. Decent sized room. Connected to a fairly lively bar.

    Brauerhouse (Lombard): In a not busy strip mall. Weird combination of restaurant, bar and music venue. Sound has never been great when I've been there, that said, I've never had a bad time here. Cheap Schlitz back in the day, assume it's still that way.

    Double Door (Wicker Park): Indeed
    Congress Theatre (Logan Square) - actually, good riddance: Indeed
  10. swboyd

    I don't think I can fix this if I find god. Prestigious

    I've heard good things from friends. It looks like they cater to stuff that's typically outside the scope of this site with jazz, experimental, ambient, and drone music. Most of the shows are free or suggested donation. I'd check it out if I lived in the area still, but I wouldn't go out of my way unless there was an act playing there I wanted to see...I know Ratboys played an acoustic set there once IIRC. That's about it though. *shrug*
  11. ArmsLikeTeeth

    Trusted Supporter

    Oh god Gamechanger is the worst.
  12. nakulisbrown


    Oh man, this is my kinda thread.


    Electric Factory
    Bad sound, dark and dirty, I avoid it now whenever possible. Will always have a special place in my heart for being my first real show though, Rise Against/Thrice/Alk3/TGA. Also the first time I got to see FYS was here, opening for another Rise Against show.

    Penn's Landing Festival Pier
    Okay outdoor GA venue, kinda disorganized and too big in my opinion. Also avoid when possible.

    Penn's Landing River Stage
    Small outdoor pavilion with stadium style seating. Only been here twice (TGA and The Offspring), but it sounded good and was easy to move around.

    Very high stage, good midsize venue, okay sound.

    First Unitarian Church
    Best Philly venue. Amazing sound and draws a cool crowd. I wish they still had pop-punk shows here.

    Harmony Grange
    In Delaware, but basically a high school gym with a stage. Sounded pretty shitty both times I was here, and there's nothing around. Weird place, but sometimes the only option for a certain tour.

    The Fire
    Dive bar, okay sound, fun.

    Camden Arena (Susquehanna / BB&T)
    It's an amphitheatre, it's in Camden, just don't.

    Awesome small club in Fishtown. Used to have lots of pop-punk. Good sound, my second favorite after the Church.

    Union Transfer
    The best of the "larger" Philly GA rooms. Relatively recently redone, plenty of room, no barricade!

    Sucks in my opinion. Another midsize LiveNation room, but unlike Irving Plaza it has this annoying sloped floor. Sounds fine.


    Chameleon Club
    Racist/homophobic security from what I've heard, although I haven't run into any issues myself fortunately. I still go here when possible because it's a disproportionately big show for that size room, you can get up close for some acts you normally couldn't.

    Big ass GA hall in a casino. Easy to move around, sounds fine, but there are probably more intimate/exciting options on the tour unless it's b-markets only.


    Stone Pony
    Bullyish security, barricade, mediocre sound. Never really liked playing here or seeing shows here.

    Starland Ballroom
    THE central NJ venue. Gets great shows, unfortunately pretty uncomfortable when packed and weirdly low stage.

    House of Blues Atlantic City
    Don't. Gets packed tf out for big shows, annoying area, and everything is dumb expensive.

    PNC Bank Arts Center
    I actually like this one. Your normal LiveNation arena experience, but Warped here was always fun. No GA pit for regular shows though, I believe.

    The Rat (TCNJ)
    The raddest. I don't know if there are still shows like there were here (I think someone on this board booked them?) but it sounds great, is tiny, and you can pretty much do what you want.

    Asbury Lanes
    I heard it got closed down? Not sure. Never sounded great but a lot of fun and plenty of room.


    Terminal 5
    Massive. OK sound, 3 levels plus the floor, all GA. I always enjoyed it.

    Best Buy Theatre (PlayStation)
    Best NYC big venue. 3 levels again, great sound and house production.

    Irving Plaza
    Midsize LiveNation venue. Can get packed, but it always sounded good and it's relatively intimate.

    Music Hall of Williamsburg
    I love this place. I saw Lagwagon, the Suppy Nation tour, and MCS here. Always sounded great, no barricade, and there's a lot of room.

    Knitting Factory
    Semi-divey smaller room in the back of a bar, no barricade, good time.

    Highline Ballroom
    I haven't been here in ages either, but I was impressed with the production. No barricade, very clean and modern.

    Gramercy Theatre
    Literally a theatre, so the stadium seating is nice if you get hurt/tired. Pretty big floor too, good sound. Slightly smaller than Irving?

    Tobacco Road
    Not sure if there are shows here, but it was basically a smaller Knitting Factory in Midtown.

    Webster Hall
    RIP. Basically Best Buy Theatre without as nice production and all the levels.

    The Studio
    It was the best small room in NYC, but again, RIP. Small stage, fun crowds, good sound.


    Jones Beach Amphitheatre
    Another LiveNation venue, but with a GA pit. I've seen blink-182 and A7X/Korn here, always had fun.

    Broadway Bar / Amityville Music Hall
    Tiny dive, tiny stage, good sound, fun.


    Fairly small, but annoying security/"no crowd surfing"/can get uncomfortable if packed out.

    Spacious stage in a dive bar.

    West Palm Amphitheatre
    See: other LiveNation arenas.

    Culture Room
    Really cool small venue with amazing production and no barricade.

    Kelsey Theatre
    Newer midsize room, great sound and nice building.

    Super fun. Small, low stage, no barricade, good sound, but enough space to move around.
    GEM37 likes this.
  13. Joshua


    The only New York venue I’ve been too was Webster hall, the ground was shaking the entire time but the sound system wasn’t bad, didn’t mind the setup and I’m interested to see what it’s like when they open it back up
  14. Brent

    Ready When You Are Supporter

    Chain Reaction >>>>>>>> Everything Else
    johnnyferris likes this.
  15. DarkestDayOfMan


    I might be moving to the Las Vegas area soon, anyone able to give me the rundown of the venues there?
  16. GEM37

    The Day Star Approaches, You Know What It Brings


    Gonna try and finish up with some of the more disparate locales...


    The Glass House: Pretty cool location with big open floor plan, bar and record store next door. Great for small bands and big to mid-level bands looking to play smaller. People often bring drinks onto the floor which them promptly get spilled in the mosh - saw Unwritten Law here and ended up literally jumping out of my shoes cuz it got so sticky. Only time that happened, though!

    Plenty of other venues around here I never got to check out, like the Fox Theater and Riverside Municipal Auditorium.


    The Forum: Called 'The Fabulous Forum' for a reason. Just one of the most pleasant amphitheaters I've ever been to. Food options aren't great, 2 drink limit, but sound is amazing and everything feels surprisingly intimate. Also pretty easy to find free parking.


    Arlington Theater: Really, really cool spot in Santa Barbara. Used to be a movie theater, designed to look like a Mexican villa. Plenty spacious, and the actual theater itself has fake buildings on either side and ceiling of stars! Also, totally open seating, so you can move way up front if you get there early enough! Saw Jimmy Eat World for the first time here, really glad I made the drive!

    Velvet Jones: Super tiny bar. Only famous because big bands like to do surprise shows here sometimes. Hard pass.

    The Majestic Ventura Theater: Nice, old timey revue theater with some stained glass trappings. Nice enough, only thing I can complain about was it was a little stuffy.
  17. RobJGolde

    Wrecked 'em? Damn near killed 'em!

    Ohh I forgot to talk about the Troc, TLA, Stone Pony, Starland Ballroom, HOB AC, BB&T and PNC

    The Troc- Always had a pleasant experience there. Friendly staff, cool set-up and good sound. I've seen the Bouncing Souls there twice plus played in a few School of Rock shows there. You're right though, that stage is oddly high.

    TLA- I've only been to 1 show there, it was Dashboard Confessional. I was up in the balcony so I can't speak for what it's like on the floor, but I had a good view of the stage and thought the sound was good. That being said, it's a pain in the ass finding parking on/around South Street and I think the drinks are a little pricey but that's LiveNation for ya.

    Stone Pony (indoor)- Never had a problem with the staff, there's one bartender that works the bar off to the side pf the stage I dunno if he's still there, but I was shooting the shit with him for a while before i saw the Bouncing Souls there in 2014, and he was a cool dude. I agree with you on the sound though, it'd just okay. The venue has its nostalgic/historic value going for it and that's kinda it.

    Stone Pony (outdoor)- Fun GA venue, spacious layout, not too cramped and is 2500-3000 cap. Drinks are reasonable. Saw Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner and Flogging Molly there in 2016 and had a blast.

    Starland Ballroom: Only been there once, but I loved it. Always has good acts playing there, and the lower stage makes things feel a little more intimate. The layout is kinda weird, but the sound is great. I dunno how expensive drinks are or what the service is like. The one time i went, I got some beers at the VFW Hall across the street and was chatting with the locals there for a while. The bartender at the VFW was cool as hell.

    HOB AC: Agree with everything you said. Parking in AC sucks, everything's stupid expensive and the place gets really packed. The sound is decent though.

    BB&T: Yup- amphitheater in Camden is a recipe for nope. I've been to Warped Tour 2008 and 2009 there, and i basically didn't go into the amphitheater at all. Just stayed at the outdoor stages. For the 2008 tour, I got lost in Camden on my way there, and I was by myself. Not a cool situation.

    PNC in Homdel: I've only been to 1 show there and it was OAR in 2011. It's a step-up from BB&T, the staff is friendly and the sound was good, but that's kinda it. Otherwise it's your standard LiveNation fare.
    nakulisbrown likes this.
  18. Phil507

    Regular Prestigious

    I've been going to NYC venues since I was 12 years old so here's my take:


    Mercury Lounge - small intimate space on the LES. Basically the first stop for many touring bands when they first come to town. No backstage area so the band has to walk through the crowd making encores a bit awkward (like when I saw The National do a one-off there right before Trouble Will Find Me comes out). Great venue and an awesome space to see a band coming up

    Bowery Ballroom - Probably the best small club in the entire country. 500-capacity and a great room with a bar downstairs. Something really magical about the place and there's a reason why a lot of bigger acts do special one-off shows there. I've seen Green Day and (believe it or not) Maroon 5 play that room and both were great.

    Music Hall Of Williamsburg - Modeled after Bowery Ballroom and was formerly known as Northsix. 550-capacity and is usually the additional stop when bands want to do two nights in the city and do one at Bowery. Bar downstairs similar to Bowery and all around great place. They've seen a decrease in shows since Brooklyn Steel has come onto the scene.

    Rough Trade - Also in Brooklyn and a few blocks away from the Music Hall. Same promoter so they get a little bit less action in terms of big names. It's slightly smaller than Bowery and MHOW (about 400 capacity I think) but still a great intimate spot. Lot of acts play special record-release shows here where you get in if you purchase their new album.

    Knitting Factory - Another Brooklyn spot (RIP Manhattan Knitting Factory). Nice dirty and smelly venue with a SMALL floor area. Lots of competition for shows in Brooklyn these days so I haven't been much but can't go wrong seeing a show here.

    Gramercy Theater - 600-capacity under-used room. Used to be a movie theater so the floor slopes and has a bar downstairs. Nice overall set-up though don't find myself frequenting it a lot since they seem to not book shows I'm interested in.


    Webster Hall - Currently closed and under renovation (not sure what it will become) but was a great 1400-capacity space with a lot of history. Had two other rooms for smaller bookings (Marlin in the middle and The Studio downstairs). Great overall vibe and energy though drinks can be pricey and if you saw a quiet intimate show, the sound from the other rooms could sometimes carry and disturb your show.

    Playstation Theater (formerly Best Buy and before that, Nokia Theater) - 2200-capacity room in the middle of Times Square which means it's a bit pricey and cheesy but good sounding room. Used to be a movie theater so there are multiple vantage points. AEG books it so usually has a lot of the mid-size pop-punk shows.

    Brooklyn Steel - 1800-capacity new room in Williamsburg which has been getting a lot of action recently. Interestingly, it has a BIGGER floor space than Terminal 5 so feels a lot more comfortable. If you don't live in the city, can be a bit of a trek to get to but worth it.

    Terminal 5 - Probably the most loathed venue in the city. 3000-capacity though not necessarily set up so all 3000 people can see the stage at the same time. Used to be a dance club hence the multiple levels. If you're going, get there early otherwise the floor gets extremely packed. They've seen a bit of a decline recently since Bowery Presents has focused on on building up Brooklyn Steel.

    Irving Plaza - 1100-capacity and has been a mainstay for the NYC concert scene for a while. Live Nation-booked and a great overall intimate-ish venue to see shows at. Was here all the time back in the late 00's but has slowed down a bit in recent times.

    Beacon Theater - Famous seated theater and great-sounding. About 3000-capacity and if you're up in the balcony can be a little steep but a beautiful room nonetheless. For more quiet shows, definitely preferable to Terminal 5.

    United Palace - WAY up in Manhattan, still functions as a church on Sundays I believe. They don't do much in terms of concerts anymore but I've seen some cool shows here in the past. 3000-capacity and all seated.

    Hammerstein Ballroom - Gets mistakenly reported as being 2,2000 capacity but it's actually closer to 4000 with a GA floor and two balconies. Used to rival Roseland as the biggest mid-size venue in the city until Roseland closed. Not used a ton for concerts but usually bands that can't yet fill arenas book multiple nights here.


    Radio City Music Hall - Doesn't need much of an introduction. Beautiful 6000-capacity theater with great sound. Not necessarily a great place for rock shows but for more theater-appropriate acts (think of indie pop/folk bands), is a great place. Expensive as fuck if you want to get your drink on though.

    Madison Square Garden - Again, no need for much of an introduction as it's probably the last arena in the US that hasn't been branded. Biggest challenge with MSG is there are a TON of corporations/brokers with their hands in the ticket pool so probably only about 50% of the tickets on sale for any event go to the general public. Food/beverages are expensive but if you get a chance to go, definitely something great about seeing a show here as most of the bands are psyched to be playing this venue.

    Barclays Center - Alternative to MSG for arena shows and generally a more user-friendly experience. Staff is more courteous and it's usually easier to get a decent seat at. Better food selection overall too. Probably more of a bitch for people traveling from NJ/LI though.

    LI/NJ/NY state spots

    Jones Beach Amphitheater (Long Island) - Preferable amphitheater choice for me though if you live in NJ the PNC Bank Arts Center is probably better. Jones Beach is slightly different than your typical amphitheater in that there's no roof and no lawn. They finally started allowing a GA Pit in 2014 and, as of last year, finally started allowing booze. If you're in the city, a pain to get to (train to cab which gets pricey)

    PNC Bank Arts Center (New Jersey)- A bit easier to get to from Jones Beach as they run a school bus (literally) from the train station. No GA Pit though but overall smaller ampitheater.

    Starland Ballroom (New Jersey) - Pain in the fucking ass to get to from the city (Train + Uber ride) but sometimes the only option for tours that don't hit the city. Decent club with a wide layout.

    Paramount (Long Island) - Great venue, sort of like Irving Plaza on steroids. A bit of a haul from the city (hour train ride + plus) but they usually will grab the B-market tours so if you want to see multiple legs, you'll find yourself out here. 1500-capacity and they don't pack it so it never feels cramped.

    Capitol Theater (Port Chester, NY) - Great historic theater, I think about 2200-capacity. Tend to get more of the jam-band shows though I've seen some great shows here from acts who might normally play arenas in the city like Queens Of The Stone Age. Easy ride on Metro North.

    I'm probably forgetting a few so will update if I think of anything else.
  19. andrew.elofson


    Denver, Colorado

    Summit Music Hall - Great space with great sound. 1100ish cap and very easy to get to (right near Union Station and a multitude of busses). Stage is elevated pretty high and you can find a decent view anywhere in the building. Stage is wide but not very deep and back lining openers means a less than ideal show when the opening bands have about 6in of space to move around in.

    Marquis Theater - Small, fun, great sound, delicious pizza. Need I say more?

    Moe's BBQ - Tiny tiny venue with good sound and great BBQ. 250ish cap. A lot of fun for local shows and beginner touring bands.

    Ogden Theater - 1600 cap theater with multi tiered floor. Tiers get really annoying at anything heavier than a pop show but the venue has great sound, a great view from anywhere in the building, and a decent location.
  20. nakulisbrown


    Dude! For real. I've been there at least 4 or 5 times and I still somehow always get turned around onto some scary ass industrial empty side streets, feeling impending doom.
  21. MysteryKnight


    New Jersey
    Starland Ballroom - Definitely my favorite venue, been to many awesome shows there. Sold out shows are over packed but that's expected. It's pretty easy to get to from my house so that's a plus, parking is cheap too.

    Stone Pony (indoor) - Not a fan of this place. It's really cramped in there, weird setup, lighting was shitty (though that was likely the band's fault), sound was mediocre

    Stone Pony (outdoor) - Much better than indoor, spacious, good sound, and if you don't want to pay you could actually listen on the boardwalk and even see the stage depending on where you stand.

    GameChangerWorld - I've seen others talk about how bad it is. I only went once but didn't find anything bad about it, sound was fine and the layout was cool

    BB&T Pavilion - In terms of layout, sound, aesthetics and such, it's better than PNC Bank Arts Center. The lawn is closer to the stage cause PNC added an extra section of seats. It also has a pit which PNC does not. However, parking is usually $40 which is highway robbery especially when most shows I only paid $20 for my ticket.

    PNC Bank Arts Center - Like I said, overall not as good as Camden, but it is a lot closer to my house and much easier to get to, and free parking so that's a good thing. Warped Tour is really awesome here, not sure how it is in Camden'

    House of Blues - This closed years ago and I wish it didn't for two reasons - 1. it was a nice venue with a good layout, 2. it was easy to get to from my house. There aren't too many mid-size venues in NJ obviously cause of NYC and philly being right there, but you know I don't always feel like driving almost 2 hours and paying ridiculous tolls to go to a concert.

    PA (basically philly)
    The Fillmore - Only been there twice but I really liked it both times I went there. The sound was good and the floor was a nice size.

    Electric Factory - from what I remember (only went once) it was a decent venue. Sound was fine, spacious, easy parking too.

    Tower Theater - This place was a pretty cool, the sound was good and the setup was good too.

    Penn's Landing Festival Pier - This was a nice outdoor venue, right by the river so there are some nice views, sound was good, plenty of space.

    Skyline Stage @ The Mann - I went here once and loved this place. I really wish they had more shows because it was really cool, sound was great, atmosphere was nice, and you had some nice views of philly.

    Wells Fargo Center - I don't know why I would even include this. It's just your typical arena. They're all the same to me, so I guess this comment can be grouped with MSG, IZOD Center, etc.
    falafelmywaffle likes this.
  22. HudsonHawk88


    I hardly ever post, but I feel like this thread is worth it.

    Cincinnati, Ohio/Northern Kentucky

    Bogart's (Cincinnati) - Recently renovated with new sound equipment. Classic medium sized club venue, and the venue that I caught a ton of shows at in my formative years. Parking isn't a problem anymore, and while the new cleanliness is kind of weird to me after years of it being dingy and dirty, I kind of love it more now. Maybe I'm just getting old. The only bad crowd I've ever dealt with here was at a Brand New show in 2008, the venue is almost always filled with chill people trying to have fun.

    Thompson House (originally known as the Southgate House, Newport, Ky.) - Smaller club style venue. So-so sound (it's been a couple years since I caught a show there, and it was a FIDLAR show so I was busy in the pit anyway). Great atmosphere, chill people, great prices on tall boys and solid bartenders.

    Madison Theater (Covington, Ky) - Really fun smaller club joint. The layout is a bit odd, it's broken into three small pits, but there's steps down from each one until you're in the pit directly in front of the stage. No crowd surfing rules are strictly enforced.

    US Bank Arena (Cincinnati) - One of the worst arena's I've seen a concert in. Awful sound for concerts (the sound isn't as bad during wrestling shows here though). Nice staff and parking is easy, but if you can see a show in a different arena do it.

    Columbus, Ohio

    Express Live - Doubles as both an outdoor amphitheater and a large indoor club venue. The outdoor version has a massive pit area if you want to mosh or get close, the lawn is also huge and nicely maintained. Plenty of bathrooms and solid bartenders for shows you want to drink at. The indoor version is pretty massive, and it's the biggest venue that's owned by the same company in town, so if a show sells out a smaller location it can be moved here. Solid sound on both the indoor and outdoor venues. I've never had a bad time there, and was just there for a wrestling show on Thursday.

    Newport Music Hall - Medium-kind of large club venue. Old school building with pretty good sound, plenty of space, a nice balcony to watch from if that's your vibe. Parking can suck during the winter, but if you don't mind walking a few blocks in cold weather it's not an issue.

    The Basement - Small club that's right beside Express Live (literally right beside it. I came out of an Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties show at the Basement last year and chilled by the doors of Express Live to listen to the end of a Shins show while I waited for an Uber). Great spot to catch a band, solid beer prices. Great sound, but it can get hot with it being so small.

    The Schottenstein Center - Typical arena. Never had a problem with pushy staff, the sound is good. Bought upper level tickets for a Chili Pepper show last year and we ended up getting a free upgrade because one of our group started chatting with a staff member and they had extra club level tickets.

    I've been coming to shows at Express Live and the Newport for years, but actually just moved up to Columbus a few months ago, so I'm still exploring the venues. Going to a smaller place called Ace of Cups in May for Jeff Rosenstock, pretty pumped for that.

    Louisville, Ky.

    Mercury Ballroom - Medium sized club venue. Great sound, awesome downtown location. Solid beer prices, plenty of room to mosh or dance. Insanely biased toward the venue because I caught a Frank Turner show there the night I graduated from college.

    Headliners - Smaller club venue. Great pit area in front of the stage, and a fantastic balcony on the right side of the stage. Affordable beers with some solid craft beers on tap, plenty of parking near it. The only thing that stinks is that it's in a kind of weird spot, but not a dangerous spot.

    Louisville Palace - Classic theater style venue. Beautiful building, always a fun place to visit if the show belongs there (the Pixies played there once, couldn't imagine seeing them there)

    KFC Yum Center - Real nice arena, built very recently. Fantastic sound equipment. Everything you'd expect from a new arena.

    Lexington, Ky.

    The Burl - Small club venue. Great space, a little narrow but not so much that it makes you feel claustrophobic. Good sound equipment, it's relatively new but they're starting to book some solid acts.

    Manchester Music Hall (originally known as Buster's) - Small/Medium sized club venue. I didn't get a chance to visit it after it reopened, but I've heard that all the issues that people had when it was called Buster's are no longer there. The sound at Buster's was kind of bad, and the bartenders were really hit or miss. I've heard great things about it now that it's been taken over by new management.

    Cosmic Charlies - Small club. This one moved from the original location, but the staff they had at the old place was always amazing and kind. I didn't get the see the new location before I moved.

    Rupp Arena - Old arena. Terrible sound for concerts, the upper level is nothing but bleacher seating, the air conditioner never works. Like with US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, if you have another option for going to a show, do it. If you have to go to Rupp, dress for hot a humid weather (layer up if it's winter) and spend extra for a lower level ticket.
    Emokid79 likes this.
  23. EASheartsVinyl


    I really really love Starland. I love the shape of the stage and the fact that the bars kind of break up the crowd so the front doesn’t get too pummeled and that they allow you to stand between the barricade and the stage. As someone with a lot of anxiety, I feel like they have the perfect setup for getting close without feeling unsafe. The staff is always really helpful and welcoming too. Aaaaand they have that port-a-potty which is awesome if you get there early. I’m always thrilled to make the trip up there.
    marceting likes this.
  24. tyramail

    Trusted Supporter

    Wonder is also my least favorite! I’m going there tonight though, so it’s not a deal breaker I guess haha.
  25. thisisnotbrianm


    Funny you mention this, I personally think Starland has some of the rowdiest and wildest crowds of any venue I've ever been to LOL.
    marceting likes this.