Connecticut’s Metal-Friendly Venues

It seems like there’s just a handful of metal-friendly venues left in the Metal scene in the state Connecticut. I say “Metal-friendly” rather than Metal-tolerant, because there is a difference. A Metal Friendly venue welcomes and actively seeks Metal bands, while the tolerant will have a special Metal night tucked away on one of the worst nights of the week, expect a band to draw big, and then never do it again when they don’t. Unfortunately, the Metal tolerant venue list is a lot longer.  

Just recently, Danial Street in Milford shut its doors forever making the venue count drop again. The economy is at it’s worst and fewer and fewer people are leaving the house to spend their hard earned and harder kept money on a chance of entertainment. People seem less likely to go out to a venue just to check out new local music and lean more toward the safety of already established acts or what terrestrial radio feeds them.

Probably the most outwardly Metal-friendly venue in the state is Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, owned and operated by Dennis, a Metal fan himself. Among the underground bands of CT, it is commonly regarded as the capital of CT Metal. Dennis is open to any band that wants to book a gig there and lets them run the show them selves. What bands love the most? No ticket sales necessary. It’s only real drawback is that it’s 21+ only.

The Webster Underground (Not the Webster Theater) is the place to perform for any Hartford area Metal band. Just a quick glance at their upcoming show schedule and you can see that it’s dominated by local and even some national Metal bands, whether it be for contests or just one off shows. It’s a great all-ages atmosphere, with a secluded bar for the 21+ crowd, and a good size show room. Rusty Assunder, the promoter for The Webster Underground, is passionate about the local CT Metal scene, and it shows.

Imagine a venue that was designed from the ground up by a musician with tons of experience in the live scene. That place is called The Room, located in Brookfield, CT and owned and operated by Vern and Jimmy. It’s one of the very few all-ages music venues and treats their hard working musician guests like rock stars. Though it’s located in a remote part of CT, The Room has the potential to be one of the leading venues for both bands and fans for live music.

At one time you couldn’t get a gig at Cooks Cafe in Naugatuck unless you were a cover, tribute, or party band with the promise of a big draw. Within the last couple of years Mark Cook, the owner has been much more open to all original local bands, and seems like recently favoring the Metal scene most. Cook’s caters to the 21+ crowd and has an intimate show room with a “dance” floor, seating accommodations, and a warm atmosphere.

As the CT Metal scene grows, more venues will be open to more than just accommodating Metal bands on the crappiest night of the week. The ones mentioned above regularly book Metal bands on their potential peak business nights, treating Metal bands as the priority entertainers for their venues rather than a dirty little secret.


About the author

Agrippa is a the general adviser, internet tech sorcerer, and a reporter for the Metal Cyndicate of Connecticut, as well as the author of his own blog about music and music production, Agrippa: Thought Manifest. He can also be found fronting his own band, Agrippa93, on vocals, synths, sequencers, samples, and piano. Agrippa also has an industrial solo project called, Agrippa’s Laboratory. Both projects are produced through his label and studio, Sickle Pation. You can follow him on twitter via @agrippa93, or email at a93@mac.com.