June 21, 2004
The 9:30 Club moved from its historic location at 9:30 F Street a few years ago, and the new location is larger, better ventilated, and much friendlier to a range of bands outside of their original stable of punk rock, hard core, industrial, and alternative bands. The staff remains on the motorcycle-jacket wearing tip, many with more piercings than natural appendages. But don't be scared. Some of them are glad Dolly Parton played here.
The "Food Food" stand on the main level and the downstairs bar (featuring the bar from the original club) offer awesome food, considering it's a nightclub, including some really tasty vegetarian options.
Oh -- major point. No seating to speak of. There is a 'lounge' area at the back of the main floor, a stair-step floor on the balcony, and limited bar stools at the balcony bar. You can take a rest at the downstairs bar, where you can’t see the bands, but there are tables and chairs for eating.
To get there, take the Metro or a cab. The neighborhood isn’t as scary as it looks, but use your street smarts, kids.
Be sure to bring your ID – most shows are all ages, but this club is STRICT about drinking ages. You absolutely will be thrown out if you are caught drinking underage. DON’T bother bringing your camera. I got pictures because I had a press pass.
Other amenities include an ATM downstairs (high usage fee warning), a cigarette and coffee kiosk on the balcony level, and cigars in the downstairs bar. Usually the front office has earplugs available for $1 or so.
This may be the best club on the East Coast these days. (I’m talking great sound staff, and the best opportunity to get close to current musicians.) If you like live music, don’t miss it!
From journal DC from the Inside Out