Student reports best music venues for 18+


Being under 21, getting to see live music can be a real challenge. Erie is a good place to see great bands at the bar, or so I hear, but there are also a handful of cool places to get your music fix when you’re less than legal.

Basement Transmissions is my favorite place to see bands play. It was once the old Schuster Theatre, located  10th and Sassafras streets. Now it’s an enormous building with a choice stage for hosting bands where all ages can mingle and enjoy music.

What sets BT apart from other venues is the diversity of music that it houses. From heavy metal to psychedelic rock, you can catch every genre at BT. It’s also got a super friendly and intimate atmosphere that makes for a really great experience. If you need snacks, BT has local organic concessions to satisfy your munching needs. 

One of my favorite memories there was when I saw a guy named Drekka who was pretty crazy – made ambient noises for his whole set by doing the show crawling around with a microphone, dragging it across the floor, spinning old coins in front of it and using a bunch of other weird and crazy things.

Another great space is the WQLN Outdoor Stage. It’s a bit of a hike to upper Peach Street at the WQLN studios, but it’s a fun place to go because it’s outside in the woods.  It’s a family friendly venue, so you don’t have to worry about whether it’s an appropriate place to bring your mom. WQLN has a really great concert series in the summer. I saw one of my buddies, Bronsen Euard, and his band play there over the summer and they killed it. The place was really chill and we just put out blankets and had a fun time listening.

A less family friendly, more fun place to venture is Club Epic. The club is located in Meadville, close to Allegheny College. The space is a kind of dance club with plenty of room to get down and boogie. The club books mostly DJ’s and electronic acts that use more flashy lights, bass drops, pixilated melodies and scantily-clad spacewomen to cater to the more rave-y of music appreciators.

I saw my friend, Brandon Eaton’s, DJ crew, Bass Invaders, there and it was pretty wild. Lots of people were dancing and no one was really throwing out any bad vibes per se. What’s really great about this space is that it’s also accommodating for over 21-ers as well.

Fortunately, the music scene in Erie is starting to pick up these days, thanks to these kinds of places that let local acts perform. 

What I like most about these venues, though, is just hearing what everyone has to offer musically and performance-wise.  Sure some people are better than others or have better equipment, but when I go to see someone play music, I go to feel the energy of the player and crowd. 

The best part about seeing live music is feeling the groove – or lack thereof depending on your weird musical tastes – and experiencing the show with a group of people. The venue is 50 percent of that. 

All I have to say is I’m glad that there are still places for the jammers to jam, the punks to punk, the head bangers to head bang and the players to play.




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