Five places to see your favorite local band before they hit it big.
1. The Southgate House RevivalIf you feel spiritually connected to your music, this venue will take it to the next level. Located in the renovated Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, the space retains its original charm with an authentic pipe organ behind the bar and stained glass windows around the main room. The Revival is divided into three spaces: The Lounge, a small room used mainly for weekly open mics and acoustic acts; The Sanctuary, the main room for large performances; and The Revival Room, a mid-sized second story room that is perfect for a raucous punk crowd. 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, (859) 431-2201, southgatehouse.com
2. MOTR PubTheir motto is “know your Cincinnati rock and roll,” and with live acts seven days a week MOTR does not disappoint. The environmentally conscious joint has a vegetarian-friendly menu and a popular Sunday brunch. They bring in local and national acts and sponsor a writer’s night once a week. On weekends, the packed pub is great for an intimate show, but if you are planning on talking to your friends after the music starts you may want to slip away to the pinball machine-stocked basement or the outdoor patio. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-6687, motrpub.com
3. University’s of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of MusicIf you are craving some classical sounds, don’t forget you have an internationally recognized conservatory of performing arts at your fingertips. CCM’s annual calendar boasts nearly 1,000 event, making it the largest single source of performing media arts in Ohio. 2600 Clifton Ave., University of Cincinnati, (513) 556-6638, ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice
4. The Blue Wisp Jazz ClubIf you would rather spend the night tapping your foot to the tune of a double bass, The Blue Wisp is for you. Established in 1973, it is Cincinnati’s oldest jazz club. A wide array of food is served from open to close and the Blue Wisp Big Band, a 16-piece orchestra that has been playing at the Blue Wisp since 1980, plays every Wednesday night. Come here for your weekly dose of culture and cocktails. 700 Race St., Downtown, (513) 241-9477, thebluewisp.com
5. Rohs Street CaféWant to hear live music but not in a dark, crowded bar? Try Rohs Street Café, a coffee shop with a passion for showcasing local music. The café creates a vibrant community feeling and serves excellent coffee. What more could you want? 245 West McMillan St., Clifton, (513) 381-7647, rohsstreetcafe.com
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