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Triple Shot: Boycott the big guys

Small music venues offer more intimacy and less stress

 by Heather Wells  published on Thursday, February 3, 2005

<em>Danielle Peterson / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE</em><br> Scatter the Ashes lead singer Daryl Stamps performs at Modified Arts on Saturday afternoon.  
/issues/arts/691864
Danielle Peterson
Danielle Peterson / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Scatter the Ashes lead singer Daryl Stamps performs at Modified Arts on Saturday afternoon.
 
<em>Danielle Peterson / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE</em><br>Andrew Zamora, a 17-year-old student at the New Schools for the Arts in Tempe, and Phoenix College business freshman Mathew Clancy outside of Modified Arts./issues/arts/691864
Danielle Peterson
Danielle Peterson / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Andrew Zamora, a 17-year-old student at the New Schools for the Arts in Tempe, and Phoenix College business freshman Mathew Clancy outside of Modified Arts.
 

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America West Arena and Cricket Pavilion may be the only options locals have to see acts such as Madonna and U2, but more often than not, oppressively large crowds and long lines at big venues make concert-going more of a torture than a treat.

So, check out some of these smaller, lesser-known Valley venues for a simpler night of live music.

Modified music

Modified Arts used to be an antique store in a pretty run-down neighborhood.

But now the venue -- a small, brick building built in the 1930s -- has become one of the best local spots for live music.

Since it is such a small venue, the music can get ear-piercingly loud.

But its size adds to the atmosphere. At the Modified, music lovers can get very close to the bands.

Those who frequent the hot spot, such as Andrew Zamora -- a 17-year-old student at Tempe's New Schools for the Arts -- say they like the Modified for its laid-back feel.

"It's real homey, and it's not too big," Zamora says. "It's probably one of the best venues around since The Nile closed down."

Water, soda and snacks are available, but don't drink too much -- there's only one stall.

The Modified, which also doubles as an art gallery, has been open since 1999. It is located at 407 E. Roosevelt St., just off of Seventh Street in downtown Phoenix.

For more information, call (602) 462-5516, or visit www.modified.org.

A diverse club

Looking for a more diverse selection of bands?

Check out The Clubhouse, which is tucked away on the northeast corner of Broadway Road and Dorsey Lane.

Bands from hardcore and indie to hip-hop and metal perform at The Clubhouse, which is bigger than the Modified, has comfy couches and a bar area sectioned off for the 21-and-over crowd.

What The Clubhouse doesn't have is the homey feel of the Modified; the stage is higher, separating the crowd from the band, and security guards take away from the laid-back feel.

Katie Harcq, an undeclared freshman at ASU, says despite those downsides, she still prefers The Clubhouse to other small venues.

"The sound system there is really good," she says. "At most small venues, you can't understand what the band is singing. All you can hear are the instruments. But at The Clubhouse, you can actually hear the lyrics."

The venue, which hosts all-age, 18-and-over and 21-and-over shows, is located at 1320 E. Broadway Road in Tempe.

For more information, call (480) 968-3238, or visit www.clubhousegigs.com.

The Sets

If just listening to bands isn't enough to hold your attention, then The Sets might be perfect for you.

The Sets is a lot more spacious than the Modified or The Clubhouse. While it does have a more corporate feel, it has many luxuries the smaller venues lack.

The Sets has plenty of seating and other distractions to keep guests entertained while they listen to bands. People can watch sports over eight big-screen televisions, play pool, foosball, ping-pong, air hockey or relax at one of the three bars.

Every Saturday, the Edge 103.9 sponsors Saturday Night Live at The Sets and puts local bands live on air.

Even on days when there aren't any concerts, there's still something to do at The Sets. The venue hosts professional wrestling, comedy shows, poker tournaments, pool tournaments and more.

The Sets is located at 93 E. Southern Ave. on the southeastern corner of Mill and Southern avenues.

For more information, call (480) 829-1822, or visit www.thesets.com.

Reach the reporter at heather.wells@asu.edu.



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