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The Blue & Gray Press | December 17, 2017

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Top Five Local Venues

By Ryan Marr

It’s the start of a new school year which can mean one of several things.  Seaco is serving edible food, there are still remnants of the summer’s last paycheck in your wallet, and you’re already sick of having to listen to people gripe about how there’s nothing to do here in Fredericksburg.
In fact, the next person I overhear on Campus Walk loudly verbalizing this complaint is going to get tackled or politely handed a copy of this week’s Bullet, depending on my mood.
So here’s my answer to all of you long-winded downers, a list of five places to catch jaw-dropping live entertainment this semester without draining your wallet or, in some instances, your gas tank.
1. The Loft- Just a five minute walk from campus, this bar at the corner of Princess Anne and William St hosts live music every weekend for the 21-and-up crowd.  If you’re like me and that demographic doesn’t apply to you, no need to sweat it.  The Loft opens its doors on the last Thursday of every month for a show that’s not only 18-and-up, its light on the wallet as well. ($5-7)
2. 3rd Floor Studio- Not more than three blocks down from the Loft, above the corner of Caroline and Hanover St, sits this multipurpose venue.  Home of Fredericksburg All Ages shows, the 3rd Floor Studio also exhibits local art and hosts the Fredericksburg Free Store.  No need to sell your textbooks for this one either.  (free-$5)
3. 930 Club- If you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks and running the risk of getting lost in D.C. looking for a parking spot, this is your best bet for catching any mid-major act on tour.  Taking the metro is always an option assuming you make the last train by midnight- cab fares can be insane and I’m fairly certain the FRED doesn’t do I-95. ($15- 40)
4. The Black Cat- The thrifty alternative to 930 Club, this grungy, yet always energized venue has been a staple of the D.C. underground music scene since the early 90’s.  Cramped walls ensure you’ll be rubbing up against more than a few sweaty, tatted elbows, but with tickets this cheap it’s hard to complain. ($5-15)
5. Toad’s Place/ The National – Relatively recent additions to the area, both night-clubs have given Richmond’s pathetic music scene a much needed kick in the pants.   Now, with a full tank of gas, you can snag tickets to that Wu Tang show and still make it back for your 8 AM class.  ($10-45)