BEST CONCERT VENUE - 1998
Obviously, the best concert venue is the one where your favorite act is playing; if you're a thrash fan, Orchestra Hall ain't the space to be. That said, the Fine Line covers quite a few genres with very little audience-venue dissonance. The room is intimate but rarely packed sardine-tight. The sound system is above-average; the sight lines are generally good; and there's a decent menu with ample quantities and qualities of alcohol available. The Fine Line books acts to suit an array of tastes and incomes, from promising locals to indie-rock graduates such as Grant Lee Buffalo and iconic figures like Jimmy Dale Gilmore--all with a regular stream of benefit gigs, record-release parties, and a Sunday gospel brunch thrown in for good measure. There is no dress code, officially or unofficially, and chances are that when a performer clears her throat without her mike on, you'll still be close enough to hear it.