CLE’s Independently-Owned Concert Clubs (02.22.09)
It’s well known that Cleveland has a vibrant live music scene encompassing a wide variety of styles to entice any serious fan. Bands on the scene range from acoustic folk and polka to the heaviest of metal and intricate math-rock. The biggest challenge for any concertgoer traveling to CLE for the first time, however, is actually finding the spots where each kind of music gets performed. Cleveland is not like other large cities that have a critical mass of great music clubs on one street or in a small district. While the House of Blues, Blossom Music Center and other big venues are easy to spot, some of Cleveland’s best clubs are smaller and independently-owned. These local favs are distributed equally east and west of downtown. Each club adds a specific spice to Cleveland’s musical gumbo.
Here is my brief rundown:
The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern (EAST SIDE, 15711 Waterloo/Collinwood neighborhood) – This former Croatian Hall is perhaps Cleveland’s most eclectic music venue. In the course of a week, the Beachland can host alt-country, indie rock, R&B and folk. And, it’s all wrapped up in a retro vibe that instantly makes you feel like part of the in crowd.
The Grog Shop (EAST SIDE, 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard/Cleveland Heights) – Get a full dose of indie cred at this hot spot on Cleveland’s east side. Booking mostly up-and-coming indie bands almost every night of the week. Grab a PBR and see the next big thing.
Brother’s Lounge (WEST SIDE, 11609 Detroit Avenue/Cleveland) – Cleveland’s newest live music spot in a newly-renovated classic venue. State-of-the-art sound and lighting elevate local music to its highest potential in this room that draws a squeaky clean crowd, Thursday-Saturday.
The Jigsaw Saloon (SOUTHWEST, 5324 State Road/Parma) – Located deep in the heart of Parma. Metal, metal and a tribute band thrown in here and there fleshes out this former bowling alley. Those of you that like to toss on a black leather jacket and head bang on a Friday night should put this place on your radar.
The Spitfire Saloon (WEST SIDE, 1539 W 117/Border of Lakewood and Cleveland) – The holy grail of punk rock bars. Small, dim, with a killer beer list (REALLY!) and punk rock music all the time. This place has become a “last call” favorite for people that work in the service industry, so expect some fun on any given night.
There are, of course, a host of other live music venues (Wilbert’s – Blues, The Winchester – Oldies, The Agora – Hard Rock, Peabody’s – Young Rock or Nighttown – Jazz, just to name a few), but rest assured a few keystrokes and the internet will certainly help you find a music club out of the mainstream. –CH III