Monday, December 19, 2011

Farm 255: Fresh food, fresh tunes


Right down the street from the 40 Watt Club, nestled in the midst of several other venues including the Caledonia Lounge and MAX, you'll find Farm 255.  The chill atmosphere of this place welcomes you in immediately, and the midsize outdoor stage, adorned with lights and surrounded by picnic tables, lends a festive air to the venue.  Ready to groove?  A patio, perfect for dancing to your favorite band's latest tunes, sits before the stage.

Inside the venue, you'll discover Farm 255's full bar which doubles as a restaurant during the day, the ideal place to eat fresh produce and listen to musicians rock it out.  In the winter time, bands even have the choice to play indoors after the tables are cleared away.  Had a bit too much to drink already?  Tucked into the back corner of the venue, you'll find two single person bathrooms complete with giant mirrors.  As restrooms go, these are certainly some of the nicer ones in downtown Athens.  Stepping back outside, the awesome sound of the latest band rocking into the night paired with the venue's decent acoustics follow you home as the show hits its last note.  Definitely a great place for those who like to sample the town's music scene!

Farm 255 at a glance: 

Ages: generally 21+

 Cost: Free

Venue Website: www.farm255.com 

Venue Phone Number: (706) 549-4660

Venue location & Google Map: 255 W. Washington Street, Athens, GA 30601


View Larger Map

Reviews of recent concerts/events at Farm 255
Hans Darkbolt
Dangerous Ponies/ Sam Sniper

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Georgia Theatre: The iconic venue reimagined


Steeped in history and newly rebuilt, the Georgia Theatre is undoubtably one of Athens' most beloved venues.  A brightly lit marquee greets you as you step up to the box office to purchase your ticket for the night's events.  Doors to the indoor venue do not open till 8 PM for shows, but the Georgia Theatre is more than just a place for bands and music;  it's also a rather chill rooftop restaurant!   Entering through the side door, you'll find a spacious elevator that takes you up to an open air patio with nice views of the surrounding downtown area.  Craving a bite to eat?  Well, this White Tiger-style dining experience features an affordably priced menu of sandwiches, salads, and sides.  While the menu does not offer a huge variety of choices in food, there is certainly a decent selection which includes several vegetarian options as well.  Best of all, the food here is quite good.

Looks like it's time for the show to start!  As you head inside, you'll discover that the Georgia Theatre has three interior levels, the top two featuring limited seating and overlooking the main floor.  From the road, the doors open up to this lower level where you'll find a rather large dance floor and quite an impressive raised stage.  Ready to grab a drink?  Opposite the stage, two full bars line the back of the venue on the main floor and bars are accessible from the upper levels as well.  Returning to the dance floor, you'll find that this venue was truly and expertly made for bands that attract masses of fans.  Even if you find yourself lucky enough to be among those in the very front of the crowd, the stage has an overhang which enables fans to have extra space and breathing room, a definite plus for the most well-attended shows!

Time for a bathroom break? Well, since the Georgia Theatre tends to get rather crowded, you'll probably want to make your way there before the show starts.  Located in the basement of the venue, you'll find some of the most massive bathrooms in Athens - pristine industrial-style rooms built with huge crowds in mind.

Returning to the main floor, you'll most likely find even more people in front of the stage than there were when you left.  Afraid you'll get much too hot as you show off your best dance moves in the middle of such a crowd? Don't be too concerned.  Giant fans that resemble helicopter blades (yes, everything is huge here) cool the dance floor, keeping all of the fans comfortable throughout the rockin' show.  Gotta love the new Georgia Theatre!

Georgia Theatre at a glance:

Ages: shows 18+, football games 21+

Cost: varies

Venue Website: www.georgiatheatre.com

Venue Phone Number: (706) 850-7670

Venue location & Google Map: 215 N. Lumpkin St,, Athens, GA 30601

Reviews of recent concerts/events at The Georgia Theatre

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Bad Manor: Bright lasers, brilliant colors


If an all-encompassing concert or dance party experience is what you crave, the Bad Manor is definitely the place for you! After receiving your venue wristband, you'll enter to find a full bar complete with bar stools and a few small tables, perfect for chilling with friends before the music begins. Then, as you pass by the screen barrier and step onto the massive dance floor, brilliant multicolored beams of light wash over the room, setting an intense scene for the night of tunes ahead. These unbelievable lasers, highlighted at times by a gorgeous sea of bubbles or by napkins that waft through the air like confetti, kick every show or dance extravaganza at the Bad Manor up several notches. They are truly a sight to behold! Then, making your way to the rather large raised stage, you'll pass a barred cage, presumably for the most wild of parties, as well as a small area that serves as the perfect place for merch booths.

What about the DJs or the members of bands planning to blow the crowd away with their style? Well, this sprawling venue has two backstage areas for them and their crew! And if their tunes tend to get the fans moving and grooving, this is definitely the venue for them. Truly, this scene was made for dancing! During all of that movement, though, you're certainly going to need to stay hydrated. But what happens when you've had a bit too much? Well, luckily, you're in the Bad Manor, home to some of my favorite restrooms in all of Athens! As you enter the clean and spacious rooms, you'll think you've stepped into the washrooms of some fancy, modern restaurant. Rustic metal stall doors open to highly designed sinks, and everything from the faucets to the toilet paper dispensers is automated as well.

Then, as you finally leave the awe-inspiring restrooms, you'll find yourself absorbed once more in all of the amazing sights and sounds of the Bad Manor. If you came to party, you will not be disappointed. What a place!

The Bad Manor at a glance:

Ages: varies, generally 18+

Cost: varies, generally free for 21+, $5 for 18-20 before 11 PM, $10 for 18-20 after

Venue Website: www.thebadmanor.com/

Venue Phone Number: (706) 850-8500

Venue location & Google Map: 346 East Broad St., Athens, GA 30601

Reviews of recent concerts/events at The Bad Manor

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A plea to the venues


I've visited a massive number of venue websites since the beginning of the Echoreyn of Athens blog. As our regular readers know, every month we put out a Kristen's Concert Picks entry - a list, complete with descriptions, of exciting upcoming shows in Athens, handpicked for the sheer awesomeness of the bands that are playing them. Basically, if my friends and I have seen and loved a band live, we're sure to feature their shows here so that more fans of the scene can get a delicious taste of their tunes. And while checking out the websites, Facebook pages, and, yes, even the MySpace pages of some of our favorite local bands helps us to discover a few of these shows, most of the time the venue websites are our best friends in this matter.

So here's my plea, my call to action, if you will:
Venues, please make your websites cater to the fans!

After all, the whole point of establishing a venue is to create a space where fans can come and listen to their favorite tunes. If there are no fans in attendance (and trust me, I've been to a few of those shows before), then what's the point having the band rock your stage? And, let's be honest here, an empty venue does no favors for the bank account either.

See I've been on a bit of a website-building spree lately, and as such, I've found myself taking a critical eye towards the sites I come across. The venues that serve their fans best are those that post the key feature, the event calendar, right on the main page of the website for all to see.

Proving that a site need not be complicated to be the perfect venue space, the Caledonia Lounge tops the list of Athens venues with sites made for the fans. A single page (yes, just one) provides seekers and makers of rockin' tunes with all they need to find the place, book a show, and discover when their favorite bands are taking the stage. Everything you need to know in one glance... Now, that's awesome! Right up there with the Caledonia's site is 40 Watt's professional site. Their main page features three whole calendars of delectable music with upcoming big name shows listed in a simple breakdown up top and in more detail towards the bottom as well as a weekly show calendar to the side.
But, being one of Athens biggest and most famous venues, there's no way they would just stop there! They've also got a schedule tab which describes each show in great detail among other tabs that provide all sorts of useful information from directions to booking to even the rather fascinating history of how the club came to be. That is one solid website! Other examples of great venue sites built with the fans in mind include WUOG 90.5's site featuring shows for Live in the Lobby, New Earth Music Hall's site, and Nuçi's Space's site.

But what about the smaller venues, those that don't require a full site to keep their fans in the know? Well, Facebook is here to save the day! A well-maintained Facebook page can serve as a venue website too, provided that those who manage the venue's page include all location and contact info and update it regularly with event pages created for every show - a makeshift calendar of sorts. Best of all, Facebook is search engine optimized to be a top result whenever a fan searches for your venue which means that they'll easily find your page when they're dying to know exactly who's rockin' your stage next.

Now, once again, I've got to put in a short word against using MySpace as a website. I've noticed that venues that subsist solely on their MySpace pages tend to forget to update them regularly. Even worse, the site's new layout makes it difficult for fans to see the events listed anyway. At this point and time, I encourage venues to move beyond this site when establishing their web presence.

So, to sum it all up, is a quality website or a regularly updated Facebook page a must-have for venues? YES! In this day and age, nearly every fan who dreams of seeing their favorite band, whether it be a famous touring rock group or a fresh new indie singer/songwriter, will check the Internet first before heading downtown to catch a show. Venues, give these fans what they need: a chance to rock out to the tunes you provide!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Max Canada: The place that has everything


Looking for a venue that's full of surprises? Well, right next to the Farm 255 courtyard, you'll find the Max Canada. Secrets and discoveries abound in this place!

As you enter through glass doors built into a window-filled wall, you'll find the first of many seating areas before you. A few comfortable booths rest beside the entrance near the first of at least three pool tables. Nestled between this pool table and one of two full bars is a giant TV wall projection that features everything from New Years Eve countdowns to old movies. Even more tables and chairs exist between the bars providing ample seating for all patrons. This already seems like an awesome place to visit, but this description hardly covers even a third of the Max Canada!

Colored Christmas lights and candle-lit chandeliers illuminate your way as you head down the hallway into the spacious arcade area. A small stage is tucked into the corner, perfect for winter shows, and there's no shortage of room for instruments and storage over on this side as well. Beneath a hanging disco ball, you'll find two more pool tables for your enjoyment. Best of all, soft seats line the walls, so everyone has a place to listen to their favorite cold weather tunes. Need to relieve yourself after all those drinks you bought at the bar earlier? Well, conveniently located in the dead center of the place, you'll find the restrooms. Now, admittedly, their cubicles may be some of the smallest ever encountered, but just like the rest of the venue, they're quite clean which is nice. And truly, the bathrooms seem to be the only place where they skimped on space.

Want to step outdoors? Well, you're definitely in luck here. The Max Canada has a massive gated patio complete with a stage area for warmer weather acts. A huge number of chairs and umbrella-covered tables are scattered about the patio making it a very chill place to hang out and take in a set or two. Basically, this place just seems to have it all!

The Max Canada at a glance:

Ages: generally 21+

Cost: Often free, otherwise $2 to $5

Venue Website: The Max Canada on Facebook

Venue Phone Number: 706-254-3392

Venue location & Google Map: 243 W. Washington St., Athens, GA 30601

Reviews of recent concerts/events at The Max Canada
Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Nuçi's Space: A coffee bar with a taste for tunes


Nuçi's Space is indeed one of the most unique venues in Athens. Just outside the central music center of the town, it serves as a haven for musicians of all ages to practice and perform. Hundreds of records adorn the walls and a disco ball hangs from the ceiling making this cozy space a brilliant setting for an evening of tunes. Now you might be a little disoriented at first if you're a regular in the Athens night scene. One of your first hints that Nuçi's Space brings you a brand new experience is their opening time. More often than not, shows at this family-friendly venue start at around eight o'clock. Perfect for early sleepers and people who like to fill their whole nights with awesome shows! Another hint that this might not be your average club is the coffee bar tucked inside. No alcohol here, but there's quite a nice array of delicious coffees to choose from. Mmm! Had a bit too much coffee? Well, that's alright. Head on over to the back of the venue where you'll find some of the most beautifully clean restrooms in all of downtown Athens!

But what about the most important part? What about the music? A medium-sized, raised stage sits on one end of the dance floor, straight across from a very professional-looking, glass-walled sound room. Need to sit down? Well, you're in luck! Couches line one edge of the wall so you can sip your coffee comfortably while you enjoy the tunes. From your seat near the stage, you can also chat with band members as they head towards the corridor that leads to the many rooms of the backstage area. And if you are a member of a band yourself, Nuçi's Space is dedicated to helping you make the most of your talent as well. They rent out equipment to bands that need it, and through their Camp Amped summer program, they even help youngsters discover the music inside themselves! Truly, Nuçi's Space is quite the venue!

Nuçi's Space at a glance:

Ages: All ages

Cost: Usually around $5

Venue Website: http://www.nuci.org/

Venue Phone Number: 706-227-1515

Venue location & Google Map: 396 Oconee Street, Athens, GA 30601


View Larger Map

Reviews of recent concerts/events at Nuçi's Space:
Venice is Sinking/ Groove Tangent/ Rye
Tealvox/ Athens band/ Second Suns

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Earth Music Hall: Not quite deja vu


Blur? Detour? It seems like this place changes looks and names as often as Lady Gaga changes outfits. Well, maybe not that often. I've got to admit, though: I love this place's latest look! New Earth Music Hall has got a certain classiness to it that its previous incarnations lacked. Lovely murals adorn the walls, and the main room's shaded lighting sets the tone for a night of just about any type of entertainment. Regulars from this place's past will notice that a small slice of the former stage is now a starred room for performers only. Every venue needs a backstage area, after all! Never fear, though. New Earth's spacious dance floor still faces a rather large raised stage with a miniature thrust stage in the center, perfect for performers to get up close and personal with their fans. A towering DJ box that sits right beside the stage completes the performance space.

Time for a drink? New Earth's definitely got you covered as far as that goes. Its extensive full bar lines an entire wall of the venue! And, of course, after a while you'll be wondering about the restrooms. Well, fear not! The bathrooms here are some of the cleanest-looking ones I've seen in an Athens venue.

Want to just relax for a bit? You've got several choices at New Earth. Inside, they knocked down one of Blur's old walls to create a nice sitting area that provides an excellent view of the action onstage. And, if you make your way through the doors on the side of the venue and up some steps, you'll find yourself on a very large deck, ideal for dancing the night away outside or just chilling. As far as remodels go, I give New Earth two thumbs up.

New Earth Music Hall at a glance:

Ages: All ages events take place during the day!
18 to 20 are generally welcome at night; 21 & up usually get a cheaper price.

Cost: Varies depending on the band/event

Venue Website: http://newearthmusichall.com/

Venue Phone Number: 706-543-8283

Venue location & Google Map: 227 W. Dougherty Street, Athens, Georgia 30601


View Larger Map

Reviews of recent concerts/events at New Earth Music Hall:
Aman Amun

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!