9:30 Club named best ‘big-room’ venue in US

WASHINGTON – The D.C. area offers a plethora of venues to catch live music, but one local institution has a better main room than any other in the country.

Rolling Stone magazine named the 9:30 Club, on 9th and V Streets N.W. in the District, the club with the best big room in America.

Bob Waugh, program director at WRNR and former DJ at WHFS, is not surprised by the music magazine’s selection.

“It is really something we’ve known about for a long time,” he says. “The thing that makes the new 9:30 Club so great, quite simply, is the sound. For a room that holds 1,200 people, it’s the best-sounding nightclub I’ve ever been in.”

The club opened in 1980 at 930 F Street and moved to its current location in 1996.

The 9:30 Club was originally known for attracting punk, alt-rock and hardcore bands, but has since expanded to include more mainstream acts, according to Rolling Stone.

The club is also known for the perks it offers visiting artists.

“The dressing rooms are coveted by the artists, because they have bunk beds and a private balcony to watch the performers on stage,” Waugh says.

Here’s the full list of the best big-room music venues, as profiled in Rolling Stone.

  1. 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.
  2. The Fillmore, San Francisco
  3. First Avenue, Minneapolis
  4. Metro, Chicago
  5. Stubbs, Austin, Texas
  6. Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
  7. Tipitina’s, New Orleans
  8. Beacon Theatre, New York
  9. Webster Hall, New York
  10. The Wiltern, Los Angeles
  11. Fox Theatre, Atlanta
  12. Showbox, Seattle
  13. The Tabernacle, Atlanta
  14. Toad’s Place, New Haven, Conn.
  15. Radio City Music Hall, New York
  16. Norva, Norfolk, Va.
  17. El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles
  18. House of Blues, Chicago
  19. Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia
  20. Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and Rachel Nania contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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