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9:30 Club ROCKS

The 9:30 Club ROCKS (No, Really)*
By Courtney Plante’

If you’re in D.C. in the near future, be sure to make your way to the famed 9:30 Club. The nightclub and concert venue opened in 1980. Located at the corner of 9th and V St. at the end of the U St. Corridor, this tiny venue with a capacity of about 1,200 people is a music lovers haven. One of the great parts of the set-up is that it is standing-room only. So even the wallflowers on the balcony landing above must stay on their feet (and maybe even move a little?) Since its inception, the club has been widely regarded as a progessive spot geared at discovering up-and-coming musical acts. Some of its more famous guests have included Bob Dylan, the Beastie Boys, The Smashing Pumpkins, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Adele, and Fall Out Boy.

While interning with the SEC in D.C. my roommate introduced me to J. Roddy Walston and the Business. Hailing from Tennessee but claiming Baltimore (where they have been based since 2004), this wildly energetic foursome packs a punch. The lead vocalist, J. Roddy, also plays rhythym guitar and pounds his piano like it has insulted his mother. At the end of the set, J. Roddy went so far as to throw his piano stool at his piano – shattering the stool and causing some damage to the lower bars of the piano as well. I was in the third row, happy that I didn’t get any splinters in my face and in awe at the energy that had filled the entire room.

Gary Clark, Jr. From Austin, Texas

I also saw one of my favorites: Gary Clark, Jr. From Austin, Texas, this bluesy rock crooner is soon to be one of the best. I’m willing to put money on it. Already performing with the likes of BB. King, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, and the Rolling Stones, the 29-year-old is gaining momentum fast. His set was great, focusing on the new and the old tracks that have helped him gain popularity. I was in the second row, and managed to snag a high-five (but not the guitar pick which went to the guy beside me). Switching tempos as quickly as his guitars, Clark’s performance easily spanned two hours. Finally, Clark played an encore including the ever popular “Bright Lights” and, one of my favorites “Things Are Changing”.


Things certainly are changing for both of these amazing acts. I am proud to say that I will be along for the ride, thanks in part to the memorable 9:30 Club.

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