Bands Worth Watching

Manic Productions

Photo via Manic Productions

Right now there aren’t any bands from the New Haven area that I have my eyes on, but Manic Productions does more to maintain the scene around the New Haven area than anyone else right now. They book a mix of locals and nationals, and it’s the first place I look for upcoming shows in CT. They do free shows on Wednesday nights at BAR (listed below) and book at my favorite local venues like The Space/Outer Space, Cafe Nine, Toad’s Place/Lilly’s Pad and others. It’s inspiring to see people working so hard to help create and maintain their music community.

Venues Of Note

The Space

The Space is a small (150 cap) all-ages venue that sounds great and has a really cool vibe to it. There’s a vintage boutique and a vintage arcade upstairs, and a small tea and food counter too. On their website they say “The Space is basically halfway between an underground arts collective and a sticky floor rock venue,” which describes it really well.


BAR is a brewery/nightclub/brick-oven pizzeria/rock venue that is one of my favorite local spots. Wednesday nights are free, and it’s usually a combination of local and touring bands. Awesome beer and drink specials help keep me coming back.

Toad’s Place/Lilly’s Pad

Toad’s is the big venue here. It’s wide open so you can clearly see the band playing from pretty much anywhere in the room, and it has a great system too. There’s lots of local EDM and hip-hop now, but bigger national bands come through regularly too. Upstairs is a much smaller (usually all-ages) venue called Lilly’s Pad, which the owners have done a lot to improve and have turned it into a cool little venue—even if the load-in sucks.

Next page: Post-Show Hangs