Tag Archives: 9:30 Club

Local music night club in Washington DC. An institution here in the area, in the mid 90’s moved to their current location. Anyone who is anyone plays there on there way through town.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe 9:30 Club May 19th 2017

I love a good concert. Checking my calendar I knew Gov’t Mule was playing the Warrner on Saturday which I wanted to hit and then saw the Karl Denson show at the 9:30 Club the day before. Karl was doing his spring tour and for a few dates with Melvin Seal sitting in on keys for certain dates. Seeing the two together was enough reason for me to get my ticket.

I just saw Karl in early February. That was out in Portland for a quick Saturday show. That performance was really good. I flew out on Saturday and was back to work on time Tuesday morning.  That show was really killer so I was looking forward to seeing them on my home turf.

The local opening act wasn’t half bad.  Of Tomorrow had their moments of genius but I didn’t think it was as good as The Main Squeeze from Portland who in my opinion killed it late that night.  The band also had this gimmick about giving away a unicorn if you gave your email up to a mailing list.  Not many people showed up to see them in the beginning but by the end of their set the place started to fill out.  Never did it get to crowded during either performance which was fine with me.  I spent my time up on the balcony with plenty of room to dance without worrying about the person next to me.

Alan Evans was again manning the drums and really had a good rhythm.  I am glad I keep seeing him so much after all these years.  Early Soulive is still some of the best music I have in my collection.  With Alan continuing in these diverse rolls I think it makes him a better musician as well.  All night the band did a good job of mixing the old with the new.  Near the end of the set they finally played some stuff from The Bridge.  KDTU was another band from that era that I fell in love with.

Karl has toured with other acts regularly in addition to his duties with his name sake KDTU.  Besides Phish I can’t think of another band I have seen so quickly that wasn’t a stint at the same venue.  Show was really good and I left satisfied with the performance.  The show got a pretty late start and went well past what I thought it would.  In the end we got a solid performance with some high lights from his early work.  Throw on top of that Alan Evin and then Melvin Seals sitting in on keys for a few performances and it was a night worth remembering.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe with Melvin Seal
Friday, May 19th 2017
9:30 Club – Washington DC

Set 1 (start at 10:50 pm)
1. .
2. .
3. .
4. .
5. .

Set over at 12:47am

Encore starts at 12:48am
6. .

House lights at 12:55am

moe. 9:30 Club September 26th and 27th 2015

moe. fall 2015 poster

Big plans always start out with a good idea.  Case in point, moe. announced a three night run in DC to start their fall tour which is part of their 25th anniversary.  Jeremy and I looked to get tickets but the only way to get all three nights was with a pass.  This pass was the only way to get tickets to The Hamilton for an intimate show.  The remaining two shows were at the 9:30 Club just down the road.  It didn’t take much convincing but we both bought passes.  Unfortunately I hadn’t yet sign up for fall classes and wouldn’t you know it, I had a class on Thursday night prevent me from seeing moe. at The Hamilton.  Ah well, can’t win them all.  Jeremy did attend and said it was a great show.

It is hard to visit the 9:30 Club and not walk down U Street.  We arrived with plenty of time before doors for Fridays show so we took some time to walk around till we found The Prospect.  A nice sports bar where we got some wings and I had a couple beers.  I was surprised to see they had Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on tap.  As soon as I saw that it didn’t even checkout the rest of the menu.  The atmosphere was good and the beer cold.  After a few drinks we headed back to the club to enjoy the show.

We already had our tickets so walked right up to the front door.  Even though it was a Friday night the show was not sold out which was really nice actually.  It allowed everyone plenty of room to dance around and not step on each other.  We got ourselves a good spot on the second floor along the rail and settled in for a good night of music.

moe_930Club_2015The entire show was filled with energy.  The band did one hell of a job on Friday and Saturday night in fact.  Both shows included some incredible jams and plenty of segues.  It felt like the second sets of each night never stopped, they just kept rolling on.  Even got a cover of House of the Rising Sun and Time on Saturdays show.  If memory serves me they have covered the entire Dark Side of the Moon album which itself is a really good show.

Friday we headed to Shelly’s Backroom for some food and smokes before the show.  It is always great to sit and relax for a while smoking a cigar in a friendly environment.  Saturdays show was also not sold out but no less energetic from the band.  We bellied up to the second floor railing, this time on the opposite side as Friday.  moe. once again put on a great show and played their hearts out.

They play Washington DC regularly and I think they enjoy coming to this area.  The crowds are great and support the band every time they pass through town.  Jeremy and I see them irregularly but when I do get the opportunity to see them locally, I have never been disappointed by the performance.  Here is to another 25 years of moe.!

Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood 9:30 Club December 4th 2014

msmwYears ago Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood put together an album and an accompanying tour.  For that tour Jeremy and I waited to long and the show sold out.  This time around I was a little more proactive and got tickets before the show sold out.  In fact tickets where still available at the door the day of the show.

Jeremy and I haven’t seen a concert together in a very long time so I was excited to get together with him and hang out.  We started by going to Shelly’s for a cigar.  Since neither of us work at the cigar shop any more it is difficult to find a place to hang out and smoke together.  Traffic and road closures from the national tree lightening ceremony on the Ellipse made getting into the city slow going.  Once we finally arrived at Shelly’s we did luck out and get a killer parking spot on the street to make up for the lost time.

beer at cigar at Shelly's before the show
beer at cigar at Shelly’s before the show

We spent a good amount of time at Shelly’s catching up.  I had a few beers, we got some food and smoked some great cigars.  I can really appreciate smoking in doors where it is warm and out of the elements on a miserable night like it was.  In fact we spent a little to much time smoking and missed most of the first set.  I believe we arrived a little before 9pm and only hear 2 or 3 songs before the set break.

Having missed the first set entirely I was a little bummed but the second set made up for it.  The band was on fire that night.  While they don’t get together often, it seemed as though they have been playing for years.  Like a more traditional jazz band, they would play off each other and swap solos during songs.  They even managed to throw in a few covers as well which was cool.

Set 1
1. Sham Time
2. Juicy Lucy
3. Chank (A Go Go)
4. North London
5. Helium


Set 2 (start at 9:44pm)
1. Louis The Shoplifter
2. Little Walter Rides Again (Out Louder) >
3. The Times They Are A-Changin’
4. Sunshine Of Your Love
5. I Know You
10:42pm set over

6. Light My Fire
10:53pm house lists

great show genterlmen
great show genterlmen
The Airborne Toxic Event

Airborne Toxic Event 9:30 Club November 22nd 2011

The Airborne Toxic Event
Airborne Toxic Event at the 9:30 Club

I got a call from Nancy several weeks ago, she wanted to see a band at the 9:30 Club.  I love seeing concerts and if she wanted to see one, I was all in.  Her first choice, I don’t even remember who, was already sold out so she got tickets to the Airborne Toxic Event the week of Thanksgiving.  I don’t normally listen to alternative rock now, I did when I was younger but have strayed in the last decade.  Despite not knowing the band I was interested in going to the show with Nancy.

We planned to get home early and head to Shirlington for dinner before the show.  Holiday traffic started earlier than anticipated, it took both us several hours to get home to immediately turn around and head to the city.  We stopped at the Capitol City Brewing Company again for drinks and dinner.  We were there a few weeks before for dinner before the moe. show and decided to head back.  Their Octoberfest beers were finished for the season and they had new seasonal offerings.  I got the Heller Keller which was a traditional, unfiltered German style beer.  Not bad, a little sweet, I wouldn’t drink it all the time, but it was good.

A quick bit to eat and we headed to the club early to try and snag a seat at the bar upstairs.  With the show sold out I didn’t hold much hope of us getting a seat.  We got there a little after 8, The Drowning Men was already performing, and the upstairs bar was full.  The place was pretty empty this early with lots of people sitting in the balcony and the floor half empty.  We got a drink and just sat stage right with a bunch of others.

Sitting there I was shocked at the crowd, it was much older and more mature than I imagined, felt like the young guy at the show.  Even saw a guy in a full suite and many others you could tell came straight from work to the show.  I remember the crowds for alternative rock shows being much edgier years ago, but I guess we all have to grow up sometimes.  I went through this same revelation when Phish started touring again back in 2009, the crowd got older, but then again so did I.

9:30 Club - Washington DCA quick set from The Drowning Men and Mona was up next, this was another reason Nancy wanted to come to the show.  They are from Nashville and have this Johnny Cash, rockabilly, twangy sound.  The band members all wore skinny jean with slick black hair in tight t-shirts, quite a sight if you ask me.  They rocked the house for a good 40 minutes with passion and feeling.  For their last song they lead guitarist hit a note and put his guitar down in front of the amp and everyone walked off.  It reminded me in a way of Jimmy Hendrix leaving the stage or Green Day at HFStival many years ago.  They happen to make a statement without destroying their equipment.

Next up was the headliners, Airborne Toxic Event.  By now the club was pack but both Nancy and I agreed that the moe. show we saw a week earlier had more people.  They put on a great set, playing all four songs that Nancy wanted to hear.  At one point Mikel Jollett dropped the guitar and walked off the stage.  He started off on the right speaker stack and eventually jumped onto the bar to sing a song.  He ordered a whiskey from the bartender, after being carded of course, which was cool.  The band  is certainly talented with each member switching instruments during the night.  They actually put a lot of thought into their arrangements and I found out they have played with several orchestras around the country.  After an hour, and the last song Nancy wanted to hear, we decided to bug after a long night.  The band happened to walk off stage but Nancy was ready to go, not wanting to hear the encore.  When we got back to the car, Airborne Toxic Event was playing on the radio, we got our encore.

Between sets Nancy asked me how long it had been since I saw an alternative rock band.  I had to think about it but it was over 10 years ago, Vans Warp Tour.  Since then it has been to many jazz shows, jam shows, with a few classic rock bands thrown in for good measure.  I hope in the future Nancy is inspired to see more alternative bands, I enjoy the scene and the music.  Maybe My Morning Jacket, The Boxer Rebellion, The Killers, or Arcade Fire.  The 9:30 Club is perfect for seeing bands like this.

moe. 9:30 Club November 12th 2011

My annual birthday show. This time around Medeski, Martin and Wood came early so I needed to find another show to attend.  Fortunately moe. stepped in and provided a wonderful night of music two days before my birthday for a Saturday performance.

Capitol City Brewing - Shirlington
copyright: Capitol City Brewing

Nancy and I started the evening off at Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington for a few drinks and dinner. If I can help it I always eat dinner before seeing a show in DC. It is not often I get up there so I like to eat at a local place when possible.  We picked this place because I love beer and they brew there own onsite.  We arrived about 5:30 for a quick drink before rest the family arrived to help celebrate.  I wanted to try their Oktoberfest but it was out, very disappointing.

The Amber Waves was the best, my only repeat of the night. Their Kolsch was pretty good, light in color but some decent favors going on.  Their Pale Rider was a knock off of, fill in any domestic beer.  No flavor, clear as water, not worth your time.  Nancy got the other seasonal offering, Pumpkinator.  Surprisingly there is no pumpkin in this one, all you can taste is the variety of spices they use to make this one, not a fan of this one either.  If only they had Oktoberfest I would have been a happy man.

We stayed at the restaurant till almost 9 before leaving for the show.  Fortunately it is not far from Shirlington to the 9:30 Club, even with crazy city traffic.  At dinner Nancy convinced Matt to come along which was cool.  His first moe. show and first time at the 9:30 Club.  I knew parking was going to be difficult at best, but we lucked out and got a spot close to the club.

Right when we walked in the lights went out and the band stepped on stage.  It was after the official start time of 9, but within the requisite delayed start time many jam bands adhere to.  We headed to the upstairs bar while they played Blue Jeans Pizza. The show was not sold out, in fact neither night was, but the place was packed regardless.  I quickly got a beer and joined Nancy and Matt at the far end of the bar, from here we had a good view of the stage.

All night they played some good tunes.  I don’t know what the energy level was on Friday but tonight it was high. They jammed out. Like I predicted, the first set was an hour long, ending by 10:30. Nancy by this point was getting a little bored and her feet were killing here.  She was a trooper and stuck it out for most of the second set.  When I spoke to Matt he was enjoying himself, having never heard the band and spending $25 to get in, he liked what he heard.  I spoke to him again on Sunday about his impression, it was not the “fucking kick ass experience” I had, but he had fun.  One thing he didn’t like was the jams.

The second set started just after 11pm, just like I thought. I tell you I could have written the play bill that night. I later nailed the house lights at 1am. I didn’t predict the amazing 20 minute Recreational Chemistry encore, stuff like that is out of my league.  The house lights came up and we joined Nancy who was already in the car. She bugged out late during the second set. I don’t like leaving her alone in the city, she is a stubborn woman, at least the club is next to Howard University so the cops are always patrolling, keeping the peace.

We headed home, dropped Matt off and continued south, stopping to get some burgers before heading home.  There is something about eating greasy burgers after drinking and a late night show that I love.  We finally made it to bed

around three in the morning.

moe. from Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ 07/15/2011
Asbury Park, NJ copyright: Chris Paul

Set 1 (9:20pm start)
01. Blue Jeans Pizza
02. Skrunk >
03. The Bones Of Lazarus
04. Happy Hour Hero
05. Kyle’s Song >
06. Kids
set ends at 10:26pm

Set 2 (11:03 start)
01. Dr. Graffenberg
02. Wind It Up >
03. Understand
04. Chromatic Nightmare
05. Blue Eyed Son (1)
06. Gone (2) >
07. Faker >
08. Moth
set ends at 12:22am

encore: (12:26am start)
09. Recreational Chemistry
show over at 12:51am

(1) with al on mandolin
(2) with al on ’74 Gibson Double-neck guitar