6th and I Historic Synagogue, which is located in Chinatown, is just such a venue. I've gone there to see Matt Nathanson (an acoustic rocker who was great), Imogen Heap (a less than acoustic alternative-er who was less than great), and Hadag Nachash (an Israeli hiphop and funk band that was utterly fantastic).
The venue is actually a synagogue (place of Jewish prayer), but don't let that scare you - it is set up for serious music. It seats about 600 (I'm not sure about this - this number is based on my visual estimate only) on two levels that form a "U" shape around the stage. Every show I've been to has had pro sound and a big concert vibe - similar in many ways to the size and vibe of the 9:30 club.
So why should you check out 6th and I? A few reasons:
- The "U" shape of this smaller space allows every seat to be within 100 feet of the stage.
- They find absolutely kickin' talent that people in their 20s and 30s (read: you) should love (upcoming shows are HERE)
- Ticket prices are totally reasonable - most shows cost between $11 and $40.
- You don't have to pay rip off Ticketmaster fees - Call their box office and they can give you a lower total price as long as you are willing to pick up from will-call. Man! I am not friends with Ticketmaster.
- Get there early or get burned - If you check out the 6th and I site, you'll notice that many of their shows sell out. That means that the place will be packed and there definitely are bad seats in the corners of the room - and they don't sell tickets with seat numbers. Your best bet is either the standing area and first few rows of seats or the first few rows in the center area of the balcony - to get those seats, you'll have to show up more than 30 minutes before the show.
- Hang out to meet the band - Because 6th and I wasn't originally a venue, the bands don't have a huge area in which to hide. Hang out by the back exits if you want to meet them after the show.
PS - Has anyone been to 6th and I for a show? What did you think of the venue?