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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rolling Stone Names Two Local Venues Among the Best Amphitheaters in the Country

Posted By on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 2:37 PM

click to enlarge Green Day at the Greek Theatre. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Green Day at the Greek Theatre.

So Rolling Stone is on this clickbaiting kick of naming the best venues in the country, and so far its lists have been pretty kind to the Bay Area: The rock mag for your dad named the Fillmore the No. 2 "big room" in America (which, duh), and Great American Music Hall the sixth best club in the U.S. of A.

Now it's on to another list -- the best amphitheaters in the country. And while the Bay Area didn't make a top 3 or top 5 appearance, it did get two in the 10 best nationwide.

Their ranking, however, is confusing. Everyone knows that the Greek Theatre is the best concert amphitheater in the Bay Area by eight light years and change, offering as it does sweeping views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city; clear sight lines, immaculate sound, and a certain magical quality. Seeing a band on a summer night at the Greek is a different experience than seeing it anywhere else. It's lovely. It even makes us feel okay about She & Him.

So it's a little strange that the Greek Theatre ranked only No. 9 on Rolling Stone's list -- and that its larger cousin across the bay, Shoreline Amphitheatre, landed two spots ahead at No. 7. We've got no problem with Shoreline: It holds nearly three times the number of people that the Greek does, and it does so easily and efficiently. Since it was basically built for the Grateful Dead, the aisles between the seats were designed wide for druggy dancing, there are clear sight lines, and the house sound system will blow you off your feet. (Also, seen from the air, Shoreline is meant to look like the Grateful Dead skull, which is ridiculously cool.)

click to enlarge Shoreline Amphitheatre
  • Shoreline Amphitheatre

But while Shoreline may be bigger and more closely tied to rock history, it isn't better than the Greek. It's very close, but we'd take a show at the Greek over Shoreline almost any night. Wouldn't you?

Rolling Stone's full list of the best amphitheaters is here. If you've ever been to Red Rocks or the Gorge, which ranked higher than any of our local spots, feel free to brag about it below.

-- @iPORT


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Ian S. Port

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