The Verdict is in.. at least for me.. I picking two

The Verdict is in.. at least for me.. I picking two

I spend a ton of time going to venues and shows in order to make this site run. This past weekend I visited the newest addition to the local music family to give it a look see and catch the live show.  The much anticipated venue, Rock and Roll Lodge, left much to be desired. The staff was ill prepared, the food was second rate at best, the stage and lighting were average but lacked the capacity to put on a great show.

Why am I seemingly bashing this joint? That is a great question my friends. I strongly believe that anyone who enters into the local scene with the intent of getting this once dominant force in music back to its earlier days of glory should be commended. The problem lies with the folks who are doing it for all the wrong reasons, without conviction.  A music venue that features local artists with the occasional national act should be, in my opinion, ready, willing and able to put on a professional production, serve outstanding food and provide a certain level of customer service to its patrons but this was not the case this past weekend.

I, on the other hand, sat for 20 minutes waiting for my first coldbeer, was served a Philly cheesesteak on a hotdog bun with beef luncheon meat, was unable to pay the bill due to electronically induced issues. The band was unable to get power, which I suppose eventually caused the circuits to blow causing the 20 minute delay in receiving my check… the disastrous night went on and on until I could no longer stand it and left.

I will end this rant with a word of advice… When entering into such a venue, you have to take into account that there are people that are consistently competent, genuinely love the scene and pour their heart and soul into their production… This is who you are competing with and a lackluster, uninspired effort which leaves patrons so much to be desired just will not do.

So, I say I am picking two this week… and, maybe I have been spoiled by the level of production and service from these venues but the fact remains, they are the best in the business and genuinely love what they do.. and it shows!

The juggernaut, Tacoma’s premiere All Ages music venue and Restaurant, Louie G’s has been a leader in the scene since conception back in 2007. With a stage, sound system and light show that rivals that of any venue anywhere, Louie Galarza has taken the local music experience to the next level.  Louie has introduced an all inclusive concept showing that an all ages, family friendly environment is not only doable but necessary. When you add to the mix an amazing staff, great service and amazing food what you end up with is an experience like no other.

Check them out over at


I was unable to pick one over the other, though their venues are very different they approach music in the same way… with passion and conviction. That said, Jazzbones is a venue that has been putting on good shows for 13 years.  With the addition of Dan Rankin back in 2010, Jazzbones has turned the corner from producing good shows to great ones. The Jazzbones staff is always well prepared and able to handle capacity crowds routinely. The stage and lighting has improved 100% under Rankin and as a result Jazzbones has become a leader in the adults only category for live music venues.

Check them out over at

So what we have is two of my top picks for live music in the Sound. There are many more good venues out there but these two, with the likes of Louie Galarza and Dan Rankin top the list for sure. You will be hard-pressed to find a better venue with the combination of production and service. As for the Rock and Roll Lounge, maybe I can chalk it up as growing pains, or maybe it just is what it is but in any case, you have got yourself some work to do.




Christian Hamilton

Christian Hamilton

Christian is the founder and Editor of Rock Paper Rock as well as a freelance concert and event photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and Beyond. He is a certified member of the PPA and Gold Level member of the CPS. He has recently began working with Mental Itch Records and has launched his own Photography website.

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