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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    T-town’s top venues

    Fans watch Georgie James perform at Plush located at 340 E. Sixth St. Plush is one of the many venues located near the UA campus.
    Fans watch Georgie James perform at Plush located at 340 E. Sixth St. Plush is one of the many venues located near the UA campus.

    It’s actually kind of surprising that Tucson’s such a big music city. I mean, it’s not that big to begin with; subtract all the old Jewish people and Tiger T-shirt nerds from the east side, and you wouldn’t think there would be anyone left to go to shows.

    But you would be wrong, because the Old Pueblo is actually a bastion for national, international and downright interstellar music talent. You just have to know the right places to go.

    The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. – This downtown music venue has been the biggest and possibly the best option for touring bands and local fanatics since its reopening last year. With rows of movable chairs leading up to a vast, general-standing area in the front, you have both sitting and standing options for music-viewing pleasure. Also, and this is something unique in Tucson, the ground slopes down toward the front, so you can actually see the stage and the band you have come to see. The Rialto gets a lot of decent acts, but beware of the occasional crappy death metal or skate punk bands that they book. You don’t want to get caught up in those crowds.

    Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. – Right across the street, this hotel/bar/club is a cool place to go if you want to see local and touring indie groups of all shapes and sizes. Congress has booked some great ones in the past, such as The Blood Brothers, Of Montreal and even the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s back in the day. This place is much smaller than the Rialto and also has crappy lighting and/or sound.

    Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. – Okay, when I said that the Rialto was the biggest, I lied. This arena is the host for the most popular musicians and performing artists. Besides hosting people like Ashlee Simpson (you’re jumping out of your seat now!) the T.C.C. also holds plays like “”The Lion King,”” hockey games, political speeches and traveling expositions.

    Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave. – This art gallery is my personal favorite place to see a show in Tucson. It’s small, you can bring your own drinks and there are lots of opportunities to stare at the local art all over the walls. Sometimes it can get a bit intense when the promoters overbook the place (The ventilation isn’t very good, and hipsters always smell.) but overall, Solar Culture is friendly, laid back and really trendy.

    The UA Mall – Okay, I was required to put this one in because it’s “”on campus”” and some people never go past Park Avenue. (Attention: Don’t be one of those people.) But this makeshift stage has hosted some pretty, uh, pretty there bands. They always play during lunch so you can catch them on your way to class. Hey, it’s free!

    Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. – This is a bar, and you probably won’t be able to get in for a while unless your sister gives you a fake, but I wanted to tell you about it anyway. The Fourth Avenue location gets some of the best bands around today – if you like indie rock music of course. (What did you think this was about, Hillary Duff?) Find a way to get in soon, otherwise you’ll eventually regret it.

    Centennial Hall – This may be a little more expensive than the stage at the UA Mall, but it’s definitely more hip. Gammage Auditorium’s little sister gets big performing acts like Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand, classical operas and symphonies from all over the world, and even Las Vegas-style performance shows.

    The Living Room, 127 N. Second Ave. – This tiny house just off of Fourth Avenue hosts a bunch of scene-y hardcore bands. There are always high school kids in tight pants standing outside, batting their hair and smoking cigarettes. If you want to look cool and have an “”x”” in your MySpace name, this is the place for you.

    36 Chambers, 36 S. Sixth Ave. – It will be really hard to find this place, but it’s probably worth it. Located downtown behind the infamous Grill restaurant, 100 E. Congress St., 36 Chambers is a place people can go to look at graffiti art, see some lower profile touring bands and even sit on a couch if you dare please. Two people actually live here though, so remember to leave the toilet seat down.

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