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Columbus' underground rock scene is alive and well at The Basement

Beneath the frozen, snow-covered streets of Columbus' Arena District there lays a cozy, quaint music building block known simply as The Basement. As the name suggests, there is a very basement-y feel. The ceiling is low, the support posts double as stage blockers and cleverly placed standing tables, the couches are worn out and water leaks onto the floor beneath the bathroom sinks. But don’t get me wrong, for all its liveableness; The Basement also features a very relaxed, modern, man-cave-like atmosphere. A fully stocked bar with nice-looking, helpful staff and flat-screen TVs are a necessity. Visibly stated drink specials make drinking on a budget easy and welcomed. And if your view of the stage should be blocked due to the incessant crowd, several TVs feature all the action via closed circuit. Adding to the relaxed atmosphere, if a break from all the action is desired, one can enter and exit as pleased. In effect, it’s much more similar to a college house from which many bands are born than a proper ‘concert venue.’

Owned and operated by PromoWest Productions, who also owns and operates the A&R Music Bar, The Newport and The LC (Lifestyles Communities Pavilion), The Basement first opened its doors to performers and fans in 2005. Operating on a tier scale based on popularity in terms of ticket sales (and priced accordingly; $15 or less for most shows at The Basement), the four venues host local acts (at the A&R Music Bar) to the biggest name national acts (at The LC). Situated one step above the A&R Music Bar, but quite literally several steps below The House of Crave and next to The LC, The Basement hails itself as the place where “the underground rock scene lives.”

Recently, the underground rappers/rockers/revolutionaries from Denver, Co., known as The Flobots stopped by for a visit. The crowed featured mostly a younger demographic, including several parents sitting in the back as their teenagers pumped their fists enthusiastically shouting with the band, “Fight with tools, fight with tools.” The band praised the young people in the audience, thanked them for coming, and directed them to use their own unique talents (tools) to fight for “human needs, not corporate greed”, among other things. Indeed, the feel in The Basement seemed less like a music show, and more like a community organizing of a grass-roots movement for the ‘next big thing.’

391 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215-2364
(614) 461-5483


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