We Love The 9:30 Club

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘phillsea’

It is no secret that I love seeing bands perform at the 9:30 Club. Their epic sound system can take a decent band from good to great and can elevate the cream-of-the-crop from great to legendary. I have seen hundreds of shows at the 9:30 Club (both old and new) and look forward to many more. I anxiously await bands I love playing the 9:30 Club for the first time. It is a great experience listening to them get their hands on that wonderful sound system and filling that massive high-ceiling room with sound. Case in point: Japanese, post-rockers Mono on June 2. I have seen them play on almost every tour in numerous venues and I guarantee that none of those shows will sound as good as their first time at 9:30 Club next week.

This year the 9:30 Club turns 30 years old. Between its original location (and namesake) at 930 F st. NW and its current super-venue at 815 V st. NW the club has been supplying Washington DC with underground music, emergent bands on the rise, and intimate performances by super-stars for three decades. To celebrate this anniversary the 9:30 Club will host two very special concerts this holiday weekend. The first is a unique performance by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine on Sunday night. This dean of humorous lounged-up rock and rap cover songs will treat the audience to an evening full of his renditions of songs by bands integral to 9:30 Club’s long and impressive musical history. This concert is $40 and begins at 6:30pm on Sunday.

On Monday, the 9:30 Club will play host to a truly spectacular, free-event hosted by DC-favorite son Henry Rollins. The event will feature hand-picked acts that have played an important part in the club’s story and will best represent the club’s unique place in DC and alternative music history. “We wanted to do something really different, we want to be surrounded by people who have made this place special, and we found out from the Virgin Mobile FreeFest how much fun it is to give tickets away, so we combined it altogether for our 30TH Anniversary concert,” said I.M.P. Chairman and co-owner of the 9:30 Club Seth Hurwitz. I can think of no better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this grand concert hall that truly represents the musical soul of our fine city.

Details on the 30th Anniversary Concert (including a partial line-up) after the jump.

The 9:30 Club’s 30th Anniversary Concert will be free and tickets will be available by lottery to members of the 9:30 Club forum and their various newsletters. (No word on when this lottery will happen and I will update here when I find out). There will also be a very limited number of tickets available at the door on Monday.

The concert will be hosted by Henry Rollins, comedian, spoken-word artist and hardcore punk rock pioneer of Black Flag fame. Rockville born, electronica guru, BT will be the club DJ for the evening.

The line-up of bands that has been announced so far is stylistically varied and perfectly representative of the decades of artists the club has hosted over the years. One need only walk in the 9:30 Basement Bar and scan the old monthly concert calendars on the wall to sample the awesome history of this club. Now on Monday you will actually be able to hear a lot of it in one night!

The bands so far (surprise guests have also bee hinted at):

Tiny Desk Unit – the first band to play at the original 9:30 Club. Its keyboard player is no stranger to the new club. It’s Bob Boilen, of NPR – the guy that broadcasts All Songs Considered shows from the 9:30 Club for the entire world to hear.

The Fleshtones – these CBGB grads were the very first band then-independent promoter Seth Hurwitz booked at the 9:30 Club, back when Carter was in office. Since then, Seth and partner Rich Heinecke bought the Club, Jimmy went on to start Habitat for Humanity and the Fleshtones have been doing what they do: recording and rocking out on the road.

Tommy Keene – A Bethesda native, who played the original 9:30 Club with his band Razz before launching a successful solo career, known for being one of the most critically acclaimed authentic power pop acts.

The Slickee Boys – the punk-psychedelic punk rock band holds the all-time record of most times playing the 9:30 Club with 79 appearances. Monday will be number 80!

The Psychedelic Furs – the very first “Big Act” booked at the 9:30 Club, the English rock band was one of the most successful acts spawned from the punk and new wave scenes.

Marti Jones & Don Dixon – back when radio “broke” artists, D.C.’s alternative station WHFS catapulted this duo to fame, and they packed the Club with fans eager to hear hits like “Praying Mantis”.

Clutch – This Germantown, Md,-based, internationally-traveling metal funk band cut its teeth at the 9:30 Club, and returns every year to sold out houses. The band just released a two-disc DVD, “Clutch Live at the 9:30 Club”, with material going back as far as 1991.

Trouble Funk – one of the best live bands ever gave the 9:30 Club patrons their first taste of DC’s Go-Go sound. Like they say, once you go Go-Go, you never go back.

The Evens – A duo of Amy Farina and partner Ian MacKaye. While known around the world as the front man of Minor Threat and Fugazi, and a bastion of rock integrity in the music industry, he’s always been “just Ian” at the 9:30 Club.

Justin Jones – represents the future of the 9:30 Club, with his soul-filled Americana sound, Justin has opened the club a dozen times for acts like ZZ Top, Loretta Lynn and Sheryl Crow. His next CD will be the 1st release on the 9:30 Club record label later this summer.

The Pietasters – they met at Virginia Tech, horns in hand 20 years
ago – and the soul ska band still comes back home to the 9:30 Club,
playing to full houses every time.

Ted Leo – though he was born in Indiana and grew up in Jersey, Washington, D.C. and the 9:30 Club are running through the veins of this indie rock doc and his current band The Pharmacists. Ted played the club regularly as a member of local faves Chisel in the early-mid 1990s.

Bob Mould – in all his incarnations, starting with influential hardcore punk pioneers Hüsker Dü, Bob has always considered the 9:30 Club his home. In other worlds, getting the blowoff is a bad thing. But thanks to Bob Mould, it’s a D.C. favorite. Bob, who lived in D.C. for years, takes his Blowoff dance party to the 9:30 Club every month, and now he takes that show on the road.

Michael splits his free time between defending the little guy and championing the underdog. He has been haunting the concert halls, dive bars, and greasy spoons of DC for the last 16 years. His interests include live rock music, researching obscure military/political conflicts, and good hamburgers. He is a friendly grump, has wisdom beyond his years, and is on a life-long quest to attain music nirvana. Follow him on Twitter if you dare!

4 thoughts on “We Love The 9:30 Club

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