BEST CONCERT VENUE Minneapolis 2003 -
It's a testament to First Avenue's reputation that there's at least one musician in this town who would rather play in the club's bathroom than in any number of clean, presumably non-urine-stained spaces across the Twin Cities. Anyone who was there when local techno wizard Fuckstorm staged a show among the urinals in the Ave's men's room two years ago surely understands his devotion to the venue. After all, First Ave and the Entry are filled with our rock 'n' roll histories: our first all-ages show, our first all-ages drinks before arriving at our first all-ages show, our first time getting thrown out of our first all-ages show by a tattooed bouncer, our second attempt to get into our first all-ages show. Such memories also recall the histories of the bands that played here: Last year alone, W.I.T. saucily stripped down to their skivvies onstage, Lightning Bolt blasted our eardrums from a space in the middle of the crowd, and Quintron literally set the Entry's stage on fire. But even with pyrotechnics, sex shows, and head-shattering noise, you still get the feeling that the Ave and the Entry, filled as they are with tough-guy security and a crowd of your good friends, might be the safest venues in town--notwithstanding any forthcoming acts of bad juju wished upon them by their bloated Hard Rock neighbor. And fire-fearing fans can rest assured: As one former First Ave employee once noted, "The place is too dirty to burn."