Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Best Live Music Venues in Milwaukee

I figured that it was about time that I put my two cents in about which Milwaukee venues are the best place to see live music. I will try to be honest, and unbiased. It really doesn't matter that much since I am only one person in a city of 500,000 people. lists Sauce as the best venue, but when I read the sentence "Fashion-conscious sophisticates flock to this upscale restaurant/bar in the trendy Third Ward," Sauce loses all rankings in my book. I'm not one to dress like a slob at a show, but c'mon, the words Fashion, upscale, and trendy are all jammed into the description. I'll pass on that one.

They list the Bremen Cafe as number two. That's a realistic ranking.

Some put Shank Hall at the top of the list. I guess you could say it's in the top 20, if that's a good thing to be one of twenty clubs to see a live band. I have to say that the sound has been great there, but the venue has not changed inside very much.

Others prefer to put the BBC at the top of the heap. Yea, the staff at the BBC has been nothing but professional when I go see a band. A nice waitstaff makes you feel so welcome. If I had any criticisms of the BBC it would be that the sound is hard to dial in. The place is big, there is a post in the middle of the stage, and the windows reflect so much sound, that you wonder if putting up some baffles for live shows wouldn't be a bad idea. The only other hurdle is loading all the gear up and down those stairs. If it is a rainy night, you risk a hard fall. Yea, the BBC gets high marks.

Some prefer to head to Bay View's Cactus Club. Sorry, I stopped giving that venue my money a long time ago. Who wants to go to a club to be treated like dirt by the owner and his staff? The regulars sit on their butts and stare into their beers. What fun!

I have to say that Mad Planet gets high marks. The staff is nice, there is plenty of room, the stage may be small, but you don't feel like you are crammed into the hall. I like the risers along the east wall. You get a chance to stand above the crowd.

Points East is another one of those friendly clubs. Hang out front and have a beer before the show starts. The stage is angular, but tall. The parking has never been a problem at Points East.

Looking back at my choices, it's safe to say that I lean towards the rock venues. Milwaukee has so much more to offer than what I posted here. I barely scratched the surface. I left out all the large venues on purpose, but if I had to list just one, it would be the Milwaukee Theater. When I have Milwaukee Theater tickets to a show, I know that the sound will be great, the entertainment top notch, and it's easy to sneak out to get a drink. The Riverside is a close second, but Milwaukee Theater goers will agree with me.

1 comment:

Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan said...

The Pabst is definitely my favorite place to see a live show. Great acoustics, rich history, lots to look at and not a bad seat in the house!