After more than two hours of Foo Fighters music, at the band’s surprise concert to reopen 9:30 Club, Dave Grohl posed a question, waxed eloquent — then dropped a bombshell.
“Who remembers the old 930 Club,” asked Grohl, who lived in Springfield, and played in Northern Virginia bands in the 1980s.
Grohl, who played in D.C. area bands including Dain Bramage and Scream, said the club, located at 930 F St. NW, in The Atlantic Building was the rallying point for the area’s fledgling punk rock scene.
“That was our church,” said Grohl. “And it was such a [beeping] [beep] hole,” punctuating every other sentence with an earnest profanity.
With its persistent smell, the old 9:30 Club was the CBGB of Washington.
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“That’s where we all played first. That’s where REM played first. That’s where the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers played first. That’s where Nirvana played first,” said Grohl, who played drums in the band fronted by Kurt Cobain.
The infrastructure of the original 9:30 Club wasn’t top of the line: “You walked in, there’s a stage, it was kinda crooked,” recalled Grohl. “It wasn’t the friendliest live environment, but magic happened in that room.”
Now a J. Crew clothing store, the old 9:30 Club “was small, it was intimate,” with a capacity of 199 people. “That’s what the sign said, 199,” suggesting that more fans crowded into the club at times.
“Now, guess what — they’re going to open up a place that’s an exact replica of the old 9:30, right next door,” to the current club, Grohl said. “Nobody knows that, because I’m the first one to tell you right now.”
IMP communications director Audrey Fix Schaefer told WTOP the club will be right behind the current 9:30 Club, where the Satellite Room used to be, at 2047 9th St. NW.
“While the new club promises to look just like the original, it will not have the notorious stench nor the huge and plentiful rats that old-school patrons so fondly recall,” Schaefer said, in a later statement.
“If it’s the same vibe as the old 9:30 Club, you’re gonna see some real magic,” said Grohl.