CBGB. The Fillmore. Max’s Kansas City. London’s Marquee Club. All of these legendary spots made Gibson’s recent list of the 10 Greatest Rock Venues of All Time. But it kind of depressed us to realize how many of these places are either closed or far past their prime — and the most recent to open was Seattle’s Crocodile Café, in 1991.
Since we’re all about new music and the up-and-coming venues that support it, we decided to compile our 10 favorite new venues that opened in the 21st century. The resulting list of clubs, DIY spaces, and even a non-profit community center, is based on suggestions from Flavorpill readers, friends, and staff — and it gives us great hope for the future of live music around the country. If you missed out on our original call for nominations, be sure to recommend your favorite venue in the comments.
(Le) Poisson Rouge (New York, NY)
When we heard this place was opening, in 2008, our knee-jerk reaction was negative. A new venue with a pretentious name, in the legendary Village Gate space? Things didn’t look promising. But then we saw the great bookings start to roll in. There was the expected indie rock fare, sure. But the wildly progressive space — which sounds excellent — also plays host to jazz, classical, and experimental music, along with film screenings, live theater, and some of the city’s best dance parties. Just last weekend, we saw No Wave pioneers James Chance and the Contortions tear it up at LPR — and we can’t think of better proof that the venue is keeping the old, weird Greenwich Village alive.