Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Monday: Rock Out At A Synagogue (Venue Review)

Getting to see top notch musicians up close and personal is usually reserved for those with deeper pockets that we have at District Beat; front row tickets can ofter cost upwards of $100 - enough for about three months of groceries if you live outside the beltway, or three mixed drinks if you live in the Dupont neighborhood. I can't justify paying more than about $50 to see a show unless I am seeing one of my absolute favorite bands, so I often seek out venues that host real talent and leave ticket prices low enough that I can still eat during the week of a show.

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.
Insider info:
  • 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.
I'll let you all know when I go there next.

- TheClubScout

PS - Has anyone been to 6th and I for a show? What did you think of the venue?


  1. Saw the Mountain Goats there a few months back...nice venue to see a band, but the acoustics are definitely not as good as some of the more "traditional" venues.

  2. @Totten Life: I hear you (no pun or play on words intended). The "cathedral" style of the room sometimes lends itself to a boomier sound with a bit less definition than some other places - though I've been to lots of club and cathedral style places that were worse - I saw the Allman Brothers at the United Palace Theater in NYC last week and the sound quality was on par or a bit worse than that of 6th and I.

    I appreciate a discerning ear and the desire to keep my writing honest. Thanks for the comment!!

  3. The Kids Saving Kids Campaign and Becca Levy are still looking for a few good musicians in Washington DC. If you want to help raise awareness of drunk driving prevention with your music, visit You must be the age of 18 or under and have an original recorded song.

    Get more information and submit your music to

    For more on Becca Levy, visit

    Save Lives with Your Talent!


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