Best Underground Venue: The Black Lodge

Recently I went to see L.A.-based band Foot Village at The Black Lodge. When the group started setting up, I realized that they weren’t 3 going to perform on the stage. Rather, they set up a labyrinth of four entangled drum kits right in the middle of the floor, all facing into each other to create a giant tom-tom warship. The audience circled around as Foot Village launched into the most transcendent percussive shitstorm in the world. The band hopped from kit to kit, high-fiving enraptured audience members on the way. Halfway through the set, the singer announced over the mike, “Hey guys, I think your shit is on fire.” Indeed, the P.A. was smoking. Moments like this seem to happen at The Black Lodge every time I see a show there. Not only does the DIY venue consistently book the most interesting acts in town, they also encourage oddball setups that create unique, personal experiences like this. The space has spawned an all-ages community that encourages creative risk-taking and engaged performance. For young music lovers in a largely 21-and-over town, The Black Lodge is a sanctuary for interesting art that often seems off-limits when you aren’t of drinking age.

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