Friday, September 26, 2008

The Blind Pig

The Location: 208 S. First St. (between Liberty and Washington, two blocks west of Main)

The Facts: The Blind Pig was opened in 1971 by a couple of UofM students who renovated an abandoned building. It originally was a coffee shop and upscale blues lounge. In the early 80s the venue changed hands, was renovated yet again, and became more of what it is today: a stepping stone for young rock acts. They usually have concerts 5-6 days a week and ticket prices generally vary from $5-$15. Depending on the night, 21+ tickets are $3 less than 18+ tickets.

The Specials:
Blind Pig has a beer of the month, each month at a discounted price. For the month of September: Budweiser - $1.75

Other Info:
The Blind Pig typically hosts relatively unknown indie groups. It has also played host to then unknown, but eventually big stars ranging from Iggy Pop, to Nirvana. Curt Cobain regarded it as his favorite venue (and also Nirvana's first venue outside of Washington.)

The Pig is one of the most intimate venues I've ever been at. Even if you leave your place near the stage to get a drink/go to the bathroom, coming back and getting close isn't too difficult. There is always great interaction between the band and the audience. One concert I was at, the MC had someone come up onstage to beatbox for him while he freestyled.

The acoustics aren't fantastic but don't limit the venue as an enjoyable place to go. The advantage of it being a small venue is that the audio doesn't need to be cranked to reach the back, so standing at the front won't make you deaf for the next four days. 

The bar is fairly typical for this type of place. Bottles of beer, mixed drinks. Nothing is too pricey, but there aren't any 'deals' other than the beer of the month. Going to the bar after a set is generally a bad idea, as it's pretty crowded and the wait will be killer. The bar isn't far from the stage, so it's not like you'll be missing the concert if you slink off to grab a PBR.

The 8-Ball Saloon, located underneath the Pig is technically all part of the same place, but I'll review it separately because it's a very different place.

I give the Blind Pig four stars. It's a great place to go and rock out. While often the bands playing are unknown they generally bring in decent talent for a decent price, and you never know when the next Nirvana will be playing there.


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