Venues Of Note
SPACE Gallery is my favorite venue I’ve ever played. If I had to choose one venue home, it’d be SPACE. I’d even drag a cot in there if you let me. It’s a non-profit, 300-capacity room run by phenomenal people putting on phenomenal shows (including plays, gallery shows and film screenings). Not only have I played some of my most memorable shows in this room (including my farewell show when I moved to New York last October), I’ve seen some of the best shows of my life here too.
The State Theatre was my first show experience. It’s a beautiful, historic building that was built in 1929. Back in the day, it cost 10 cents to go see a top-tier Hollywood film there. In the ’80s it turned into a porn theater showing X-rated films, until 1990. I was lucky enough to see a handful of great shows (music shows!) there until it closed its doors for renovations in 2006. It reopened last year and has become the most successful music venue in the city, with huge national acts coming through constantly, which has made Portland music fans very happy campers to say the least.
I couldn’t leave out the Oak And The Ax, even though it is in Biddeford, ME, about 20 minutes south of Portland.
I think there’s actually some sort of magic in its walls, and anyone I have ever talked to about it agrees. It first started as Hogfarm Studios, a venue run by a lovely couple of people from Texas named Gil and Coco. Within the last year, it has fallen under new owners Greg Jamie (from the band O’Death) and his wife, Kristin. They didn’t do much to change the atmosphere inside, which I was so pleased to see when I played there last month—with its red curtain behind the stage and comfy couches and handful of movie theater seats.
This is the kind of place one goes to for an intimate (roughly 100 capacity) show that always somehow feels like a gathering of 100 friends. The venue is always jam-packed, and people travel from all over to see shows there.
Next page: Post-Show Hangs