Indy’s live music scene is multifarious. From alternative cover bands in north side bars and indie acts in Fountain Square to arena sell-outs downtown, our city does not lack this important cultural attribute. Although our city lies some miles between music capital Nashville and Chicago, our venues traffic big-time musicians on a regular basis. In this Trndy article, I will describe a few of Naptown’s staple venues and upcoming summer concerts where you’ll be sure to find great music, wonderful people and good vibes.
Upon their opening on June 18, 1938, the Vogue Theater showed motion pictures. In the early 70′s their image changed when it became an X rated movie theater, featuring cult classics like “Deep Throat”. Since ‘77, The Vogue has functioned as one of Indy’s best nightclubs. Today, they welcome a wide range of entertainment performances almost every night of the week. Notable musical guests in the last couple of years include Tallest Man on Earth, Wood Brothers, Yonder Mountain, Sleigh Bells, and Griz. Historical performances include members of the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and more.
The Vogue is unique in its historical characteristics—the original marquee, the balcony seating, and concert posters plastered on the walls. It brings old school hip hop flare on dance and rap nights. It holds low key shows some nights and is packed with hula-hooping hippies watching jam bands on others. The accessible bar, located centrally as soon as you enter the doors, is just one fun way to interact with an amusing venue.
Things to look forward to this spring and summer at the Vogue include a performance by The Werks with Funky Junk, Kaleidoscope Jukebox on April 24 and anything in The Sun King Concert Series. Check thevogue.com for their frequently updated calendar.
You can’t talk Indy entertainment without mentioning the Old National Centre (formerly Murat). Just off of Mass Ave, the venue is comprised of multiple venues within their walls. My favorite of these is the Egyptian Room, for its intimate experience and consistently impressive productions. With an 1800 person capacity, the energy in the Egyptian Room becomes contagious. Although indoor, this venue often feels like an outdoor festival. No TVs. No arena seating. Just the large groove space. The stage. The band.
Memorable acts in recent years include Sufjan Stevens, Black Crowes, Pretty Lights, John Butler Trio and Alt-J. It is no newcomer to sell out shows, like Gov’t Mule with John Scofield in March. Other notable performances so far this year include Dark Star Orchestra, Lotus (with local opener Turbo Suit), Blackberry Smoke and Excision. On June 2, hit the basement Deluxe Room to see Glass Animals, a Eurpoean group with an intricately layered sound. Surely their live show will be as Gooey as their hit single.
Now that spring has officially sprung in Naptown, outdoor venues inevitably trump all. In this regard, the Lawn at White River State Park never disappoints as its grassy meadow-like grounds and groovy performances bring a varietal crowd to their events nestled against the banks of Circle City’s White River. The environment here truly outshines other outdoor Indy venues.
From Trey Anastasio to STS9 to The Allman Brothers, the venue has hosted fame. Coming up this summer, you can find performances by Third Eye Blind (5/30), Alabama Shakes (6/2), Cage the Elephant (6/7), Ben Harper (6/13), Barenaked Ladies (6/17), Flogging Molly (6/23), even The Beach Boys and The Temptations (8/5). Capping off the summer after their April album release, Umphrey’s McGee will perform August 8th.
Other Shows This Summer:
Lana del Rey
May 28, 2015
Klipsch Amphitheater – Indianapolis, IN
Thu, Jul 02, 2015
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Jul 04, 2015
Written by: Jennifer Dickman
Photo Cred: Do317