Gatsby's. Chili-D's. Johnny Rocket's. Boomerang's. Club Say What. This place goes through names (and owners) faster than a Ford Excursion goes through premium unleaded. Well, hopefully, that trend ends here, today, with Fat Tuesday's. That's right, in case you haven't heard, Fat Tuesday's Concert Hall (formerly located in the Riverwalk complex next to the Northern Lights Brewery) has relocated in the old Gatsby's space on West Pacific Avenue.
Owner Ken Dupree has made it more than a relocation -- he's make it an entirely new beginning. He's taken the cavernous old space through the facelift it's been aching for since the early '80s, when hard rock and metal bands held court here (back when it was affectionately known as "the Boogie Ballroom"). He's cleaned it up, brightened it up, removed all that disgusting shag carpeting and, best of all, outfitted the enormous, 400-capacity room with state-of-the-art lights, thunderous sound, a larger stage and a full-service hard liquor bar with12 beer taps. The club can also transform itself in a snap into an all-ages venue catering to the under-21 crowd.
Since launching the new club a few months ago, Dupree has kept the calendar full with local and national rock acts. The local RAWK Final Four battle of the bands competition is currently underway, packing the club to near capacity with every new installment. It feels good in here. It feels right. There's a very good reason that this space has such a long and celebrated history of hosting live rock music -- it's because the room was made for it. It's quite simply the best-sounding, most accommodating venue of its size anywhere in the Spokane area. And there's usually something happening there every night of the week.
The Big Easy
911 W. Sprague * 244-3279
The Big Easy has been around for a whole year now, but it's still considered the new kid on the block. And what a lot of space it takes up on that block (at the corner of Sprague and Monroe). Without a doubt, the Big Easy has successfully filled a void, adding a crucial piece to the Spokane nightlife puzzle that had been sorely missing for years -- that is, a medium-sized live concert venue with the flexibility to host a variety of shows, dance parties and other sound-centric events. And there is quite simply no better sound and light to be found anywhere in the Spokane night. They are bringing in the big names, too -- bands that had traditionally passed through Spokane on their way to more accommodating gigs now stop here to play.
751 N. Fourth Ave., CdA * (208) 667-4843
Coeur d'Alene's favorite neighborhood bar, Capone's continues to make quality live blues and rock (from local performers and big national acts) available and affordable to us average Joes. They've got some great taps over there, too.
114 E. Sixth Ave., Moscow, Idaho * (208) 882-7531
John's Alley in Moscow is an intimate, unpretentious watering hole that, over the years, has consistently exhibited a strong commitment to great live music from local, regional and national acts. It leans toward rock and all its sub-genres, but often has blues, jazz and reggae bands on tap as well.
230 W. Riverside Ave. * 624-7638
The B-Side is arguably Spokane's premier loud rock club, serving the local appetite for live music, beer and cocktails in equal quantities. It may be a little rough around the edges, but man, is this place cozy. And the people here (both staff and patrons) are a very pleasant and gregarious bunch. The intimate feel of the club is enhanced by ancient red brick walls, which divide the space into catacomb-like warrens. There are a couple of pool tables, a foosball table and a photo booth, too. And the drinks, as you would expect, flow easily, strongly and cheaply.
Others Worth Checking Out
Ella's; the Blvd.; Mootsy's; the Shop; CenterStage; Bluz at
the Bend; the Spike; the Wine Cellar in Coeur d'Alene