In September we told you about why the Doug Fir and Silvermoon were great places to see live music. In this second installment of our new "best places to see live music" series we've got another one over the mountains and one here at home. Both owe their heritage to old-timey religion.
Most Bendites are familiar with our very own 1930's Catholic school campus that now serves as a mecca for all things entertaining. The converted school is a place where you can spend an entire evening doing everything from beer and wine tasting, to smoking a cigar, to seeing a movie and then soaking in a nice hot bathhouse—and yes, even catching a concert. Alright, so the event space known as Father Luke's room isn't technically a music venue as much as it is a room with a stage in it, but that doesn't stop the fine folks at McMenamins from stocking its lineup with fantastic regional and national acts. Often times these artists perform for free making Father Luke's room a fantastic bargain.
• Bands are close to the crowd. So danceable shows get crazy
• For quieter shows, linen covered tables are rolled out and it's a great place for a meal with nice ambiance
• The lineup throughout the year is straight up ridiculous, and every Wednesday night, it's free!
• Venue is small if the tables/chairs are set up you can't get within dancing range
Everyone knows about the craft beers and the Cajun tots, but if you're headed there early enough for dinner during a band's first set, order a special off-the-menu item called the Firm Burger. It's your basic burger but with Swiss cheese and pepperoni on top. Delicious.
What better way to repurpose an old non-functioning church in the resurging Mississippi Avenue neighborhood than to restore some spirituality in the form of some honest-to-God rocking live music. That was the exact sentiment brought to bear when Mississippi Studios opened its doors to the world of concerts and music recording in 2003. After its expansion in 2010, MS has become one of the best places in Portland to see a show. With a capacity of around 300, concerts are intimate gatherings of like-minded fans. While the ideal spot is about six feet away from the stage, those who prefer seating can check out the comfy spots in the balcony. Quaint. Rustic. Classic Pacific Northwest.
• Mississippi Studios is known as a venue for live recordings. That means the sound is magnificent and no instrument or vocal gets lost in the mix
• The adjacent restaurant, Bar Bar is a great place to get a tasty burger before a show and enjoy some secret garden seating on the back patio
• Try to find one. We can't
While Mississippi Studios and Bar Bar pride themselves on delicious burgers, margaritas and hot toddies, you should definitely have bartender Arian make you a three-sugar-cube Old Fashion. She's an expert and they go great with folk rock.