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Where to (indie) rock on the west coast?
July 7, 2007 11:51 AM   Subscribe

My east coast tour is ending. That means it's time to start booking the west coast tour. Please suggest cities and venues for a touring indie rock band to hit in NV, CA, OR, WA, and AZ.

We're looking to plan way ahead for this one, so I'm thinking we'll hit the road in late September or early October. The tentative plan is to begin in Las Vegas, head to the CA coast, go north up to Seattle, then do something in eastern WA and work our way back down through northern CA, NV, possibly hit AZ, and then end up back in Vegas.

We're looking for small to medium sized indie rock clubs. We'd like to avoid really tiny places, no-name bars, places not known for music, and anywhere we aren't likely to find a receptive audience and make money - but we'd also like to keep travel distances in the 300 miles or less range.

Of specific interest - places between LA and San Francisco? Places in northern CA? Places in eastern OR and WA? Anywhere in NV besides Las Vegas?

I'm looking for venues to book, not general advice on how to tour, but lay it on me if you think it's really good. If you know someone who books at a venue, that'd be double-plus good. Link to music is in my profile, but the live show falls closer to the rock side of the spectrum than the album.
posted by ludwig_van to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Also feel free to suggest other places to ask this question.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2007


I'd take a look at where other people rock off a site such as this.
posted by OrangeDrink at 12:03 PM on July 7, 2007


I can only speak to the AZ leg of your question, but if you tour without playing the Club Congress, then you and your tour will be the worse off. It's a brilliant venue, and it's a great place to stay. Contact the entertainment manager on congressbooking@yahoo.com for the deets, but you definintely want to play there.

They can also fill you in on places to play in Phoenix. I'll leave it to others to suggest non-AZ venues.
posted by deejay jaydee at 12:20 PM on July 7, 2007


Awesome, thanks deejay. More please!
posted by ludwig_van at 1:50 PM on July 7, 2007


Ventura Theatre
Downtown Brew in San Luis Obispo
The Brick Works in Chico
Sudwerks in Davis
Mystic in Petaluma.
posted by fshgrl at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2007


Frog and Peach pub, downtown SLO.
posted by hortense at 2:46 PM on July 7, 2007


fshgrl, Sudwerks, really? I just finished my undergrad at Davis, and am into music, and never saw a band there the whole time.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 3:00 PM on July 7, 2007


really? when I lived there they used to have really fun shows. That was quite a few years ago though (the opening band was the Deftones once if that's any indication)
posted by fshgrl at 3:35 PM on July 7, 2007


Doug Fir in Portland has a nice little club attached to it.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 3:37 PM on July 7, 2007


places between LA and San Francisco

Santa Cruz. Between the big places like The Catalyst, to the little ones like E3 Playhouse, and the deeply missed ones like Palookaville, there are a million little and not-so-little places for live music.

Get a picture of the band in front of the Giant Dipper -- it'll end up in the liner notes of the next album
posted by toxic at 4:15 PM on July 7, 2007


In Phoenix, AZ, maybe Modified Arts, which is both art gallery and music venue. Anyway, I hope you come through AZ--I'll be sure go to your show.
posted by mullacc at 4:34 PM on July 7, 2007


Marquee Theatre in Phoenix
Rialto Theatre in Tucson
posted by curie at 4:43 PM on July 7, 2007


Fresno has a growing indie rock scene, and there are several different venues around. Fresno is basically directly in the middle of LA and SF. Check here.
posted by Industrial PhD at 4:45 PM on July 7, 2007


The "New" Jury Room in Santa Cruz is the local indy rock joint if you're not big enough to play the Catalyst.
posted by YoungAmerican at 6:21 PM on July 7, 2007


Several people have mentioned Phoenix, AZ. I'm thinking of the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, CA.
posted by ericales at 7:23 PM on July 7, 2007


I would avoid eastern Oregon, and hit Ashland/Eugene/(Corvallis)/Portland. The only place in eastern Oregon would be Bend, and I'm not sure you'd get a huge audience. Corvallis doesn't sound like it has quite what you're looking for... you could rent out the Oddfellow's hall, which is where local groups do their bigger shows, or you can try a coffee shop/cafe deal (Jason Webley plays at Interzone), but that not be what you're looking for. I don't know specifics in the other places, but if you hit Eugene at the beginning of the school year, get somewhere closer to U of O - they're pretty big on indie stuff and the music show scene.
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:33 PM on July 7, 2007


Seconding fshgrl for Mystic Theatre in Petulama (Sonoma County)

Starry Plough in Berkeley
posted by gt2 at 10:49 PM on July 7, 2007


Specific:
- The Sunset Tavern is nice in Seattle.
- Check out the Red Room in Portland.
- Consider going north of Seattle to Bellingham, WA (your tour is during the school year and Western is up there).
- On preview: I would agree that you'll want to rethink straying too far from the I-5 corridor in both Washington and Oregon in terms of making the tour more efficient. It's something to think more about (because if you loop into the colleges on the eastern side of the states it's an interesting idea). Alternatively you could just make a turn off I-5, play Central and Eastern Washington Universities and (drive through Idaho to) finish in Missoula, Montana. :)

General:
- I would imagine you're on myspace and that you've got a number of like minded bands from all over as your friends, you could poll them via bulletin and see what suggestions people kick back at you.
- Find a band or two of similar stature and style who are touring in the areas you want to tour in and snatch up all their venues. We did this with some bands that we played with when they came to our hometown and it worked out pretty well. (Advantages: you're punching your weight vis-a-vis the venues, you learn of new places that have cropped up recently, and you know in advance that not only do they host bands at your level but of your style).
- If you check this thread (you're in there!) out you might also find some ideas.
- Good luck, have fun, be safe!

posted by safetyfork at 10:57 PM on July 7, 2007


PS. Consider stopping in Olympia between Portland and Seattle to play for the fine townsfolk and the peeps that go to The Evergreen State College. It's only because it's nearly 2am here that they didn't make it in the first comment.
posted by safetyfork at 11:01 PM on July 7, 2007


While you're working the I-5 corridor in Washington (and don't neglect any of the college towns safetyfork mentioned), let me add that you should see about playing the casinos. I live near Tulalip, and their new amphitheatre runs many acts large and small. The Puyallup have a casino (Emerald Queen) on their reservation in Tacoma, the Stillaguamish have one (Angel of the Winds) a few miles northeast of Tulalip in Arlington.
posted by eritain at 1:06 AM on July 8, 2007


Great suggestions, all. If anybody knows of good places in Vegas, I'd like to hear about them, too. My bassist lives there, so that's where we'll be starting and ending, but I haven't been able to turn up much info on smaller clubs rather than casinos and such.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:23 AM on July 8, 2007


I don't know if this is still a good resource, but you can try checking out Book Your Own Fuckin' Life
posted by camcgee at 8:57 AM on July 8, 2007


Yeah, BYOFL is pretty handy - I booked several shows on the last tour there. Although it can be kind of hit or miss and tends to skew towards really tiny basement shows and punk and hardcore and such.
posted by ludwig_van at 1:02 PM on July 8, 2007


Fresno is starving for an excellent indie rock scene. Visalia is a great choice too on the 99, fourty five minutes before Fresno.

Howie and Son's Pizza Parlor (All Ages) or The Cellar Door (21+) in Visalia, California. This is the promoter's myspace.
posted by andendau at 9:42 PM on July 8, 2007


The Paper Heart in Phoenix is another great venue -- honestly, probably a better place to play than modified.
posted by ph00dz at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2007


Any more northern California ideas?
posted by ludwig_van at 4:15 PM on July 9, 2007


Also, now that I've gone through everything suggested so far, a lot of these places are too big and are definitely not for me (yet). But some of them look really good, so thanks for the suggestions, and keep em coming if you can.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:35 PM on July 9, 2007


Things are going well so far! I just confirmed the 2nd night of the tour on Friday, 10/12 at the Casa Blanca Lounge in Phoenix. It looks like the previous night in Las Vegas is close to confirmed, too.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:38 PM on July 11, 2007


Sweet. I've been wondering about Casa Blanca.

It's fairly new, as I understand it.

'Course, if I can do anything for ya'll in PHX, hit me up. Email is in the profile...
posted by ph00dz at 7:04 PM on July 13, 2007


Will do, thanks!
posted by ludwig_van at 7:18 PM on July 13, 2007


Just thought I'd post an update, as we're hitting the road soon. The suggestions in this thread were very helpful. Here's how our schedule looks at the moment:
Wednesday, 10/10/07 @ The Art Bar in Las Vegas, NV

Friday, 10/12/07 @ Casa Blanca Lounge in Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, 10/13/07 @ Dry River in Tucson, AZ

Sunday, 10/14/07 @ The Jumping Turtle in San Marcos, CA

Tuesday, 10/16/07 @ The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, CA (w/ Devon Williams)

Wednesday, 10/17/07 @ The Frog and Peach Pub in San Luis Obispo, CA

Thursday, 10/18/07 @ Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco, CA (w/ Maggie Morris)

Friday, 10/19/07 @ The Salem House in Chico, CA (w/ Belda Beast)

Saturday, 10/20/07 @ The Red White and Brew Pub in Redding, CA (w/ Belda Beast)

Sunday, 10/21/07 @ The Black Forest in Eugene, OR (w/ Acute)

Tuesday, 10/23/07 @ Kelly's Olympian in Portland, OR (w/ The Minor Thirds and The Harvey Girls)

Thursday, 10/25/07 @ The Mars Bar in Seattle, WA

Friday, 10/26/07 @ The 4th Ave. Tavern in Olympia, WA

Saturday, 10/27/07 @ The 541 Lounge in Bend, OR

Saturday, 11/3 @ The Beauty Bar in Las Vegas, NV
posted by ludwig_van at 10:43 PM on September 30, 2007


If anybody's looking at this, the tour starts tonight, and we added a couple more shows. Here's the full schedule again:
Wednesday, 10/10/07 @ The Art Bar in Las Vegas, NV

Friday, 10/12/07 @ Casa Blanca Lounge in Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, 10/13/07 @ Dry River in Tucson, AZ

Sunday, 10/14/07 @ The Jumping Turtle in San Marcos, CA

Tuesday, 10/16/07 @ The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, CA (w/ Devon Williams)

Wednesday, 10/17/07 @ The Frog and Peach Pub in San Luis Obispo, CA

Thursday, 10/18/07 @ Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco, CA (w/ Maggie Morris)

Friday, 10/19/07 @ The Salem House in Chico, CA (w/ Belda Beast)

Saturday, 10/20/07 @ The Red White and Brew Pub in Redding, CA (w/ Belda Beast)

Sunday, 10/21/07 @ The Black Forest in Eugene, OR (w/ Acute)

Tuesday, 10/23/07 @ Kelly's Olympian in Portland, OR (w/ The Minor Thirds and The Harvey Girls)

Thursday, 10/25/07 @ The Mars Bar in Seattle, WA

Friday, 10/26/07 @ The 4th Ave. Tavern in Olympia, WA

Saturday, 10/27/07 @ The 541 Lounge in Bend, OR

Sunday, 10/28/07 @ The Gray House in Arcata, CA

Thursday, 11/1 @ The Casbah in San Diego, CA (w/ Low vs. Diamond and Something for Rockets)

Saturday, 11/3 @ The Beauty Bar in Las Vegas, NV
posted by ludwig_van at 1:17 PM on October 10, 2007


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