Good Places to See Shows

One of the best things—to me, at least—about being a music fan is getting to see the bands I like live. It’s getting easier as I have more access to a car (or a ride). I try to go to McGuire’s whenever they have somebody on stage, because it’s usually my type of music, and anyway, I like it there. They always have the information up on their website.

Sometimes they’ll have somebody cool playing at the Vinyl Music Club. The Vinyl is nice but the sound is intense, so I try to at least bring cotton to stuff in my ears. Also, it’s usually a standing-room-only situation, so keep that in mind if you go. Some of the shows can get…well, rowdy, and can get uncomfortable–especially for small girls like me. Anyway, there are some pretty surprising bands who play there, and because it is small, it is pretty awesome to see them there. I got to see the Old 97s there once, and that was really amazing. Their website is pretty informative, so check it out if you’re in the area!

Then there’s Seville Quarter, which I tend to avoid. Nothing against that place, I have friends who love it there, but I just feel like it tries to appeal to waaaay too many people. There’s a hip-hop room, and there’s dueling pianos and all kinds of other stuff. Think of the biggest bar and dance club you can possibly imagine, and it is kind of like that. It’s great for people who aren’t really sure what they feel like doing that night, so you can kind of try everything. The crowd has a LOT of lower-enlisted sailors, so if that’s something you’re into…well, the ratio is pretty good for us girls anyway. However, they do cool events sometimes, like the Frank Brown Songwriter’s Festival. I highly recommend finding out what is going on before you head over there.

And then there is Bands on the Beach.Lucky for me, because we live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, summer concert season runs on Tuesdays (I don’t know why) from April through October.I actually really like seeing shows here, and they have a decent variety of groups. I look on the Pensacola Beach website a couple of times each season and pick what I’d like to see. I get to sit on a lawn chair, and it is just a really cool atmosphere. I mean, how bad can life be when you’re watching waves crash on the beach and listening to some great music? Especially in April, when you can see on the news that some places are still getting SNOW. No thanks!

Occasionally you have to go to Mobile—which isn’t too far—to see somebody. If it’s a really big name, though, you may have to go all the way to New Orleans—I am trying to convince a friend to go with me in the spring so I can catch Mumford and Sons. They are fairly mainstream but still folksy, and that’s what I like.