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October 5, 2007

Fab Five Friday

This list of the five best places to see a rock band was one of the toughest ones I've put together yet. As always, feel free to debate my choices:

1. The 8x10, 8-10 E. Cross St.

My favorite place to see live music in this city -- whether rock, bluegrass or what have you. There is hardly a bad sightline in the club, and the dance floor is springloaded so it bounces slightly when it's packed.

2. The Talking Head Club, 203 Davis St.

The quintessential rock club: that musky odor of cigarette smoke and spilled beer, a busted pool table, the unswept floor. And most importantly, the solid sound system.

3. The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St.

I'm not sure how the city's music scene could live without a venue like the Ottobar, which pairs Baltimore bands (like the Oranges Band, pictured) with nationally touring rock acts. The parking lot next door is a definite plus, too.

4. Sidebar Tavern, 218 E. Lexington St.

The Sidebar's owner Richard Ashburn called me once to chide me for calling his club dirty. But I don't know what kind of rock/punk club the place would be if the walls were graffiti-free and I could eat off the floor.

5. Fletchers Bar, 701 S. Bond St.

This list wouldn't be complete without Fletchers. It's home to Noise in the Basement, an awesome local rock showcase, and also has the feel of a classic rock club.

(Colby Ware/Special to the Sun) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:31 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Fab Five Fridays


sonar may not be the best as far as sight lines or sound, but they bring acts that several years ago wouldn't have come to Baltimore, instead skipping right over us going from Philly down to DC. I've seen Son Volt, Gomez and the Black Crowes there in the past year and enjoyed every show.

This is a good list of the top five places for local music, which it seems to be focused on. It's hard to argue with any of these, aside from the exclusion of Sonar, as well as Rams Head Live (aimed at national touring acts). The Waterfront is another good place to hear live music from local bands, though you can't necessarily see them! There are several clubs outside Baltimore that should be covered in a future Fab Five.

I personally enjoy seeing shows at Ram's Head Live. The sound system is state of the art and any band I've ever seen there sounds great. They get national recording artists as well as regional cover bands.

The Talking Head Club is closed.

Hey Len,

The Talking Head Club re-opened about a month ago.

Soul Cannon is a really hot up and coming band that will be at The Talking Head on Oct. 19. They are performing at The Turntable club on Saturday which is also a great venue. The Talking Head has really great energy coming to it this time around. Look for great things.

Cool blog.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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