The entrance to U Street Music Hall (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
You could learn a lot from DJ Will Eastman. One of the many things: Should you decide on a career change, put your whole heart into it.
That’s what Will did when he opened U Street Music Hall in 2010. You see, he previously worked full-time for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Meanwhile, DJ’ed all around town and beyond at 9:30 Club, Black Cat, and more, and he saw the need for a club wholly dedicated to hot dance nights with big beats.
Enter U Hall, a club for DJs by DJs.
The Lincoln Theatre (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
The Lincoln Theatre in DC is a grand old facility first opened in 1922. It was shuttered after the 1968 race riots and reopened in 1994.
It’s owned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which awarded a contract to IMP, the promotions company that operates 9:30 Club and The Anthem, to book its concert schedule in recent years.
DC9 Nightclub (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
When you Google “DC9 Nightclub,” the search engine giant helpfully informs you that “the live music venue” is a “Tri-level hipster hangout with snug basement bar, music stage with dance parties and rooftop deck.”
What that doesn’t fully tell you, however, is that DC9 is perhaps the most chill spot to discover the best rising bands, find the best affordable cocktail to put you in the zone, and altogether check your troubles at the door.
The Black Cat (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
The Black Cat is regarded as home to DC’s punk music scene. It hosts the likes of Discord bands like Hammered Hulls and traveling skate punk bands like FIDLAR, for sure, but there’s much more to the Black Cat.
With its 700-person capacity, the Black Cat is the touring home to indie rockers of all stripes, whether climbing their way up the charts or legacy bands that have won a consistent and loyal following.
Duran Duran performs at The Fillmore New Orleans on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Editor’s Note: Parklife DC asked its contributors to write essays about their favorite bands. These essays appear in an occasional series, My Favorite Artist, and provide our readers with insights into our bloggers, their motivations, and their approach to covering concerts.
To my ear, music is at its best when it motivates and inspires. Popular music provides a forum for catharsis, surely, but I am most excited when I hear something that stirs my soul, lifts my head, and moves my feet.
Cue Duran Duran.
Billy Idol performs at the Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Billy Idol’s dad was a helluva salesman. He worked hard all of his life, and he never really seemed to have time for Billy’s music as his son shot up the charts in the early ’80s.
In 2014, Billy was working on Kings & Queens of the Underground, his eighth studio album, and he took a mix over to his parents to get their feedback. To Billy’s delight, his dad was not only very interested in the album, but he liked the songs quite well.
Soon after, Billy’s dad passed away at the age of 90. In his bed at the time, he was listening to Billy’s “Ghosts in My Guitar,” a song that Billy performed with considerable emotion at the Pearl Theatre at Palms Resort Casino recently.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser at the DC Funk Parade on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Yesterday, Parklife DC speculated under what circumstances some DC music venues might remain open in the face of the coronavirus threat. Under an emergency order clarified on Sunday, Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed music venues, such as Songbyrd Music House for example, with a tavern or restaurant license to remain open while closing those categorized as nightclubs or multipurpose facilities.
Ultimately, Songbyrd decided it was impractical to remain open under the circumstances, and the venue announced it would close its doors all the same.
Yesterday at 4pm, Mayor Bowser made our hair-splitting assessment moot by ordering the closure of all restaurants and taverns in addition to the previously closed nightclubs and multipurpose facilities in order to staunch the spread of coronavirus.
Read Mayor’s Order 2020-048: Prohibition on Mass Gatherings During Public Health Emergency – Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Parklife will continue to update our readers on the status of music venues and concerts in the DC metro area.