Arts & Entertainment

The Scene is Not Dead

Customers take in the music scene at hell’s Kitchen during the last days before the doors close for good. Photo by Andy Cox.

We all should know by now Hell’s Kitchen has thrown in the towel and ended its 10-year career in the downtown Tacoma music scene. It is sad indeed, but we can’t just sit around and grieve about it forever. The scene is still alive, and there are plenty of places to show for it. There are still live music venues such as the Redroom on Tacoma Ave, and of course, Jazzbones and Chopsticks on 6th Ave.

The Redroom is the last of the all age venues in the Tacoma area. This is a place where young and old can come and enjoy live music in a very intimate atmosphere. It is small and not very fancy, completely raw. You have a room, a sound system and that’s really it. The Redroom has a similar feel to that of a house show, but with a better sound system. The staff really cares about the music scene here in Tacoma and the bands that play in it. This feels like home no matter if you are an audience member or playing a gig.

There are also plenty of bars and restaurants that house live music on a regular basis. For all who like indie-rock, The New Frontier is a great place to check out. They are pretty well known for their flamenco nights and live indie shows. Different to say the least but that’s what makes it great. Be sure to check out their upcoming event called Rebel Riot on Saturday, August 4th. Rebel Riot is a massive car show that they close down 25th ST for, with plenty of live music and beer to go around.

Down town Tacoma’s very own Harmon Brewery hosts live music at their Tap Room Underground. Every Friday night starting at 10 p.m. the Tap Room Underground has DJs up on stage. Every Saturday night at 9 p.m., they have local musicians come in and perform. They post the full details of their upcoming shows on their website at

If you like open mic nights or Italian food, then you’ve got to check out Medi’s up on 6th Ave. Every Thursday night they have open mic nights and it is open to all ages until 10pm. They also do two shows a month, from reggae, acoustic, and other forms of alternative music. Be sure to look them up on Facebook to get more info about their upcoming events. Medi’s is co-owned with the Irish pub down the street called O’Malley’s. This place is all about the community and giving back to the music scene here in Tacoma. Almost every show these guys do is free.

According to manager Josh Norris, “We only do about two shows a year that have cover charges. Here at O’Malley’s we are all about supporting touring bands as well as local bands and artists.”

Be sure to check O’Malley’s $2 Taco Tuesdays and be sure to check them out on Facebook for full details on their up coming shows. Venues come and go, but the memories we share there is what makes them special. So on that note Tacoma, I encourage you to go out and make some memories with your friends and family.