San Francisco is a unique live music town.
Like its populace, it’s eclectic and on the vanguard.
The city is known for the notorious stories of Bill Graham’s unique management style of the Fillmore beginning in 1965, through this year’s beautifully complementary festivals in the area, Outside Lands and Treasure Island Music Festival.
Similarly, Thrillcall today adds two new venues to its ever expanding client list that reflect the deep roots and progression of the scene here in the Land of Rising Real Estate.
The Cafe Du Nord. Welcome!
The DuNord is an institution at Market St. and Sanchez. The building? More than 100 years old. The owner? Guy Carson, a veteran and recognized leader of the nightlife community in San Francisco. (Ask Guy anything….if it’s been tried live music-wise in San Francisco in the last twenty-plus years, he’s seen it and always has a valuable insight.)
The venue? Converted speakeasy that out-of-town performers and managers alike use as a proxy to judge how well their breaking artist will fair with the notoriously finicky SF crowd. Fans stream downstairs into the bowels of the Du Nord into it’s vintage foyer area and mill around with ‘mules, Glens and Jacks in their hands before packing into the intimate “hall” cut into the back of the structure.
(Editor’s note: Our favorite show there? The night that local sensation Etienne De Rocher convinced renowned New Orleans pianist Henry Butler (infrequently on the touring circuit) to sit in for a dueling piano set. Soul food.)
Monarch is the new visually stimulating club on 6th street at Mission downtown.
Applause to the team there for turning what was one of San Francisco’s most moribund corners into destination and upscale location. That team by the way….all seasoned vets with a range of talents: label owner Chris Smith, award winning libation man Tadd Cortell, book master Manny Alferez and the Great Creator (of events) Micah Byrnes.
It most aptly and accurately describes itself as “the new throne of San Francisco’s nightlife dynasty”.
They are perhaps one of the most progressive–if not the most progressive–clubs technologically in the Bay Area scene.
Boasting a sound system that wasn’t even available on the open market until this year and is illegal in 72 countries, the downstairs at Monarch is straight sonic ice cream. And when you need a break from what becomes a hip-to-hip, but still comfy bumping experience downstairs, you can head upstairs to the art nouveau bar and enjoy a cocktail and ambience that makes you feel “on the list” at all times.
Additional kudos to Monarch for being recent Best Of The Bay winner for the Bay Area Guardian!