Foo Fighters Will Play Opening For Replica of D.C.’s Storied 9:30 Club
Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club has a reputation as one of the most celebrated and storied concert venues in the U.S., and now the club’s owners are set to open a replica of the space’s original digs right next door to its current home — with a star-studded set of underplays from the Foo Fighters, Jeff Tweedy, Gary Clark Jr., and 40 other acts lined up at the new spot for this summer.
The Foo Fighters will christen the new 450-person capacity venue for its first show on May 30, which according to 9:30 Club owner I.M.P., marks the 9:30 Club’s 44th anniversary. The new venue will be called The Atlantis, an homage to the venue that previously occupied the 9:30 Club’s original location before the Club first opened in 1980. The Walkmen will play The Atlantis the next day, with 42 more shows through September 29th — Portugal. the Man, Yo La Tengo, The Head and the Heart, Spoon, the Pixies, and many others are slated to perform. Maggie Rogers will close out the opening run of shows.
Further marking the club’s 44th year, tickets for the opening run will go for $44 dollars each. Given the low prices — along with the fact that many of the listed acts are typically playing larger amphitheater to arena-sized venues — demand will most likely be far greater than supply. As such, the venue says it will be using a lottery system through Ticketmaster Request to dole out tickets, and fans can sign up through Friday, April 7. Those who are selected for tickets will know the week after. To ensure scalpers can’t resell the tickets beyond face value, tickets for all of the opening shows will be non-transferrable except for a fan-to-fan face-value exchange, where customers can list their tickets only for the original price if they can no longer attend a show. The full list of artists playing The Atlantis’ opening run and the ticket sign-up is available on the venue’s website.
I.M.P. invested $10 million into The Atlantis, the company said in its announcement of the new venue. Along with the 9:30 Club, I.M.P. also operates The Anthem and the Lincoln Theatre in D.C., and the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Those venues are much larger than The Atlantis, though, and the new location gives I.M.P. a more direct means of serving artists who are earlier in their careers, an important factor given that many indie concert promoters say solidifying relationships with talent for more show dates starts with booking an artist’s first tour.
“We’ve been doing our smallest shows in other peoples’ venues for too many years now,” Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P.’s chairman, said in a statement. “We needed a place that’s ours. This can be the most exciting step in an artist’s career. This will be where we help introduce new artists to the world, and their story needs to be told right. Our smallest venue will be treated as important, if not more, than our bigger venues. If the stories are told right, both the artists and the fans begin their hopefully long-term relationship, and we as promoters do better too.”
The 9:30 Club is known for having hosted major rock and punk acts early in their careers, including Nirvana, R.E.M., the Ramones, Fugazi, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and R.E.M. — and it has kept its allure in the live music world. In 2018, Rolling Stone called the 9:30 Club one of the best concert venues in the country. The venue moved out of its 200-cap F Street location to its current spot in the Nineties; Dave Grohl first announced the development of a replica of that original location in 2021, when the Foo Fighters reopened the 9:30 Club after a lengthy hiatus due to the pandemic.
“That’s where we got to see every fucking band, that’s where we all played first,” Grohl said on stage at the time. “Magic happened in that room. And if the new room has the same vibe as the old 9:30 Club, you’ll see some real magic there, too.”
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