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Monday, April 29, 2013

Rolling Stone Names the Fillmore the No. 2 "Big Room" in America

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Inside the Fillmore: hallowed ground.
  • Inside the Fillmore: hallowed ground.

Damn fucking straight. Weeks after Rolling Stone embarked on the mother of all music clickbait projects with a five-part series about the best venues in the U.S. -- and named S.F.'s Great American Music Hall the No. 6 club in the country -- our fair City by the Bay has been handed another honor. In the second installment of this project, "The Best Big Rooms in America," Rolling Stone declares the beloved Fillmore No. 2 in the country.

That's right: the hallowed ground where Bill Graham first booked Jefferson Airplane and the Greatful Dead, and pretty much spawned both West Coast psych-rock and the jam-band movement, has come out on top. Well, almost on top. It was pushed out of the No. 1 slot by Washington, D.C.'s also-legendary 9:30 Club, which has a shorter, albeit equally star-studded history.

You may be wondering exactly qualifies as a "big room." Well, that's tricky: Most of the venues on this list hold 1,000 to 1,500 people, but some go as high as 6,000 and as low as 770. The Fillmore holds 1,100. Interestingly, though, the Great American Music Hall -- denoted as a "club" for the purposes of this project -- has about the same capacity, although it does feel a little more intimate. Maybe the differentiating factor is that Great American is locally owned, while the Fillmore is a Live Nation venue?

Either way, the irrational local booster in us is thrilled that the Fillmore beat out every similarly sized venue in both L.A. and New York, including places like Webster Hall, the Wiltern, and even Radio City Music Hall. Eat that, media centers of the country. San Francisco rules.

-- @iPORT

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Ian S. Port


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