Baltimore has a few good music venues that I frequent. One of the smaller ones, The Sidebar Tavern at 218 E. Lexington St., also books some of the most underground touring and regional acts I have ever seen. The people who book shows there consistently bring music in a variety of genres nearly every night of the week.
The first time I ever stepped foot in The Sidebar was probably in 2004 or 2005. The capacity maxes out at about 100, but when there are more than 60 people in there, it really starts to feel full. The Sidebar shows feel intimate and intense. The stage is low and so is the ceiling. There's nothing like standing just a couple feet away from the band if you can squeeze your way to the front.
During the 2013 A389 Anniversary shows, The Sidebar hosted memorable hardcore matinee shows that had me sitting ON TOP OF the bar to avoid being moshed upon. During the Maryland Deathfest, The Sidebar puts on sold-out before and after parties that extend the fun with some of the bands from the MDF lineup and others that didn't make the cut.
Ownership of The Sidebar changed hands recently, and the new proprietor, Travis Hunt, has become a good friend of mine. In this latest podcast, I talk to him about the history of the venue, which sits just across the street from the center of Baltimore's City Hall and Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. courthouse. We discuss the role the tavern has played in the Baltimore music scene and also highlight some of the cool events coming up in the near future.
Have a listen!