Blind Pig: Music Venue
Great place to check out up and coming bands. Check out a copy of the Current to see who's playing and when. The "Pig" and the "Eight ball saloon" (the basement bar) are local hangouts of the town's punk rockers, pool sharks and old hippies. It's a must see.
Bands who have played the "Pig" in their early days include: REM, 10,000 Maniacs, Sonic Youth, Soul Asylum, The Rollins Band, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
See who's playing today, they may be famous tomorrow!
Leopold Brothers: Unexpected Brewpub
The Leopold brothers came from Colorado and studied beer making in Germany. The big beerhall style room is full of quirky games and quiet areas, in a room that was once a car showroom. Rotating displays from local artists add to the fun style. But what sets this place apart is that the byproducts of brewing are used in the hydroponic greenhouse. This is an Ann Arbor treasure.
Dress Code: Casual beer hall atmosphere.
- Arts and Culture
- Beer Tasting
Sweetwaters Cafe: Latenight Latte
If you aren't up for drinking up a storm and getting your clothes covered in stinky smoke at the bars and pubs grab a book or a friend and head to Sweetwaters Cafe. It is a little off the undergraduate-beaten path on W Washington one block west of Main St. Last I knew they were open late (midnight-ish).
Dress Code: Casual
The Ark: Informal concerts
The Ark is a small, intimate theater with an eclectic array of performers. It has hosted performers like Leon Redbone, Dougie McClain, & The Tannehill Weavers. You can often get tickets at the door, so you'll see a queue on the sidewalk.
Dress Code: The usual Ann Arbor eclectic.
Ann Arbor Brewing Company: Live Irish music Wed nites
You can play darts with your friends while quaffing an ale, after you've dined on fish & chips. Wednesday nights is when the musicians forced to have day jobs can join in the jam session of mostly celtic-inspired music.
Dress Code: Shoes & shirt required. I guess pants are optional, although kilts are cool.
Again I can't pick just one,...
Again I can't pick just one, so I'll pick two - The Cavern Club, and the Leopold Bros. Brewery.
The Cavern Club features really -good- live music; the selection is eclectic but often features blues, swing, rockabilly, and sometimes reggae.
Leopold's, simply put, has the best beer you'll find in town. They only have three to five selections, but they're all organically brewed Bavarian-style house beers. The 24oz glasses (or pints if you really want them) make it clear that the brothers really love their beer. It's a big place, which can be awfully quiet and empty, or incredibly full and raucous, depending on whether it's a weekday or weekend and what time you come in. Listen for the loud thwump of the air system!
Dress Code: No dress code in particular for either place. The Cavern Club is often a bit dressy, but it's also in a college town; I'm sure you could get by with sneakers and jeans. Leopold's has the common dress code of most brewpubs around the nation - you can wear anything you want, as long as you drink the beer. :-)
SilverVelvet's Nightlife Tip
Prefer something along the lines of folk, roots or ethnic music? The Ark has been singing its heart out for since the 60s. Many great people have passed through its doors over the years such as Norman and Nancy Blake, David Bromberg and Leon Redbone. Even acrors David Alan Grier and the late Gilda Radner played on the open mic stage when they were students at the local university. They also host an annual folk festival. Upcoming concerts include Shawn Colvin and Keb Mo.
Conner O'Neill's Traditional...
Conner O'Neill's Traditional Irish pub
When it's all about the Guiness, Conner O'Neils is a good spot for a pint, periodic live Irish music and good craiq (craiq means lively, witty conversation in Gaelic). The bar was actually designed and shipped from Ireland. On Sunday mornings, they might still cook a traditional Irish breakfast and put a soccer match on the television.
Michigan Theatre: Michigan Theatre
The Michigan Theatre is one of those old-fashioned, gilded movie palaces complete with an ornate ceiling, red velvet chairs and one of less than 50 working pipe organs in the country (The organs that once graced movie houses during the silent era). Not only do they have an excellent film schedule that features mainly foreign and independent films, but also live concerts and special events such as the annual Ann Arbor Film Festival. One of my favorite events at this theatre is their silent series. Typically about one a month, they'll show a silent film and often have a live organist playing a score to accompany the film. It's a beautiful way to rediscover silent classics such as 'Phantom of the Opera' or 'The Passion of Joan of Arc.' Sometimes the film society will also host wine and cheese receptions in the lobby after special screenings.
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