5 Small Music Venues that Seriously Rock

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5 Small Venues

Toad’s Place – 300 York Street, New Haven, CT

Why Toad’s Place Rocks: Originally, the Yale Co-op stood where Toad’s now resides. It was various restaurants after Yale sold it off, and former culinary student Michael Spoerndle purchased the building to turn it into a French and Italian restaurant in 1975. But by 1976, Toad’s Place (that was also the name of the restaurant, btw), Spoerndle transformed Toad’s into a live music venue with the help of local musician Peter Menta, as well as friend and co-owner Brian Phelps. Right off the bat, acts like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker graced the stage at the 750 capacity club. Billy Joel recorded “Los Angelenos” from his album Songs in the Attic at Toad’s in 1980, and U2 played there three times at the dawn of the ‘80s while they promoted Boy and during their October Tour. They also premiered the song Fire there, and Adam Clayton can be seen in a Toad’s tee shirt in early promo photos of U2. In 1990, Bob Dylan played a set that lasted more than five hours, and was his first club appearance in a quarter century. More recent acts have included Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, Juicy J, Interpol, and Wiz Khalifa.

October 2013 Events Image

It's a pretty great time of the year for sports, concerts, and theater, given that each category has a plethora of events to choose from. Big names like Elton John and Kanye West will launch U.S. tours this month, while the NFL season continues on strong (as if there was ever any doubt). On top of that, NBA has its pre-season while MLB heads into its postseason, and several shows — including one about legendary musician Janis Joplin — open on Broadway.


Pink: She opens her latest tour, "The Truth About Love," Oct. 10 in Oakland, CA, which she follows up with several California performances before sweeping through the rest of the U.S.

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Elton John: Though he's spent plenty of time at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, this month, Elton John takes his show on tour. First up: Austin, TX, Oct. 17

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Kanye West: In his first solo tour in five years, Kanye West teams up with up-and-coming rap star Kendrick Lamar. The tour starts in Seattle, WA, Oct 19, hitting cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York along the way.

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