Thanksgiving Day Post! A Place I’m thankful for:
The Place: The Anthem
Where: 9th Street and Maine Avenue SWs
Why Live Near Here: You’re a lover of live music but maybe you’ve outgrown the college radio phase of your life and only really know the bands who play larger-scale venues. Second to that, you’re someone who enjoys living in a neighborhood that has recently undergone an epic Joan Rivers-level facelift.
Things to Know: You’ve probably been living under a rock if you haven’t at least heard of The Anthem, DC’s (just over) 1-year old 57,000-square-foot cashless music venue which opened in SW DC as part of The Wharf revamp. The building cost $60 million and has a customizable stage and backdrop that will allow a varying capacity of 2,500 to 6,000 people. The venue is part of the I.M.P. family, meaning it is a sister venue to The 9:30 Club and has the same management as Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Upon entering the club from it’s waterfront-facing front doors, look up and you’ll see a sculpture made of cymbals by Dan Steinhilber called Untitled Polyrhythm. It was commissioned by PN Hoffman and I.M.P. years before the opening of the venue and cymbal maker Sabian donated 150 XSR and AA cymbals for the project. Above that you’ll catch the see-through bottom of The Channel apartment’s rooftop pool. Curious how those apartments aren’t constantly dealing with an onslaught of noise on show nights? A: $3 million was spent on soundproofing the surrounding units to avoid any noise issue.
Once inside the main room of The Anthem, you’ll see it has 7 large permanent bars (and multiple pop-up bars depending on the show), several areas to order and get food from Eat to the Beat, world-known touring catering company, and tons of interesting lighting, from the balconies adorned with “curtains” made out of LED lights and punched out steel sheets to grandiose chandeliers that move to different heights.
Personal Anecdote: There was more than one soft opening last October, and luckily yours truly attended all three. At one of those nights, Dave Grohl personally thanked owner Seth Hurwitz for constructing the “the best damned venue we’ve ever played” and if you don’t want to take it from me, take it from him and make it a point to check out a show there.