BEST ROCK CLUB - 2004
We admit that when we first visited the Triple Rock, our insatiable urge to see a show was trumped by our insatiable urge to eat a burrito. But now that countless other local haunts also resemble Chipotle (we dare you to check out Tonic's sterile silver walls and not thirst for a gin-and-taco-sauce cocktail), it's clear that our attraction to this place owes as much to the crowd as the decor. Since expanding from a small drinking spot into a full-fledged concert venue last June, the T-Rock's newer club-going patrons have begun to mingle with the bar-going regulars, bridging the gap between preppy college students and crusty older punks, 2-for-1 addicts and parched novices, Minneapolis and St. Paul bands. And the fact that these warring factions are willing to keep driving back to a parking lot filled with potholes large enough to house medium-sized Iraqi dictators proves that the Triple Rock books some of the best shows in town. Would we have enjoyed seeing Atmosphere, the Hold Steady, TV on the Radio, or Glass Candy just as much somewhere else? Maybe. But there's something about the Triple Rock's neighborhood-bar vibe that makes us feel no desire to abandon our beloved West Bank hangout for another venue, not even one that's closer to the "gourmet burritos and tacos" chain. Maybe it's because we feel a certain loyalty to the Social Club. Or because we stop at Taco Bell on the way over.