Off Beat Music Scenes: Reviewing Obscure Venues


When it comes to concerts in St. Louis, not everyone can afford tickets to The Fox, or even The Pageant. When you’re saving up money for front row tickets to the Spin Doctors, here are some “smaller scale” places to go see a concert for cheap in the St. Louis area.


Striker / Can

When presented with the option of listening to heavy metal, I would prefer to bang my head on a laundry machine until my sweater vest gets clean. That was what it felt like listening to Striker, which sounds like a mutant offspring of The Bulletboys, and a steam engine. Despite the music being suspect, I must say I quite enjoyed the lo-fi, DIY-esque vibes of Fubar.

This venue typically draws smaller-scale punk bands, with the odd metal band thrown in. I must say that despite not being the biggest metal fan, the concert really left me wanting more. Not necessarily more music, but more of the venue. I will definitely be looking into shows here in the future.

Bathroom Quality: C+

Off Broadway

Rainbow Kitten Surprise

As far as traditional venues go, Off Broadway certainly is the closest to the standard. Located on Lemp Avenue, Off Broadway is isolated from most other venues and anything particularly fun to do. However, the quality of the venue certainly makes up for any of the location’s shortcomings.

Of the reviewed venues, this one typically draws the bigger names, and for good reason — it was one of the more enjoyable concert experiences I have ever had, and I’ve seen concerts from coast to coast with taters and toast.

The acoustics were perfect, the mood was intimate, and despite the band I saw being mostly awful, the entire vibe of the concert was that of raw energy. When seeing a rock show, what more can you ask for?

Bathroom Quality: A-

The Sinkhole

Grand House / Royal Vessels / MFG

The Sinkhole is perhaps the most unique of all three venues because it doubles as a recording studio, as well as a host for local bands. The Sinkhole is by far the smallest of the three venues, but it is also the venue that does the most to support St. Louis’ vibrant music scene. The Sinkhole looks to make our own scene a bigger part of our lives.

The venue itself was very cozy, and made me feel at home though I had never been there before. While the room was cramped at times, and the mics didn’t always work, there hasn’t been a more familiar and welcoming venue in St. Louis I’ve been to yet.

Bathroom Quality: B

Story by Ian Scott

Photo by Isaac Knopf

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