The Place: The 9:30 Club
Why live here: Because it’s The @#$^%! 9:30 Club! It’s THE BEST. Hell, it’s the impetus for this blog.
The 9:30 Club, consistently ranked as one of the best small music venues in the U.S., hosts some of the most incredible musical acts around. It opened its doors at 815 V Street NW in 1996 after 15 years at its original location at 930 F Street NW. Since then, it has helped the 9th & U Street area (sometimes referred to as 9th & Awesome by some of my DC friends) boom and flourish into the bustling area it has become. So, if you love seeing live music and want to pop over at the drop of a hat, living nearby would be fantastic.
Things to know: The 9:30 Club is the longest running DIY club in the country. It has been awarded “Nightclub of the Year” by Pollstar 11 times (more than any other club in Pollstar’s history), including 5 years in a row from 2012-2016.
The 9:30 club building was built in 1946 and looks almost identical now as it did when it was built, and according to the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. Public Library, Duke Ellington was one of the original club’s co-owners. The only main difference? The broadcast antenna atop of it reminds us that the building turned WUST Radio Music Hall and gospel radio station before 9:30 took is over in 1996.
Lastly, the Hall of Records debuted 2 years ago when the Club celebrated its 35th anniversary. Comprised of more than 9,000 albums, it is their collection of albums of every single artist that has ever headlined the 9:30 since the club opened on May 31, 1980. Owner Seth Hurowitz’s brain-child, it is organized in chronological order based on the date the artist played and displays the album they were touring on for that show.
Fun anecdotes: If you’ve read my “About” section, you know that I started interning here during my sophomore year at GW about 15 years ago. Some of my former coworkers and bosses are now heads of major record labels, tour managers, and the like. I’m in a unique position to pass on some interesting facts about The Club, so I just gave you a few above, but likely have a lot more if you ask me…