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9:30 Club

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9:30 Club
Belle & Sebastian performing at the 9:30 Club
Location 815 V Street N.W. Washington D.C.

38°55′05″N 77°01′25″W / 38.918021°N 77.023657°W / 38.918021; -77.023657Coordinates: 38°55′05″N 77°01′25″W / 38.918021°N 77.023657°W / 38.918021; -77.023657{{#coordinates:38.918021|-77.023657|region:US_type:landmark|||||| |primary |name=

Owner Richard Heinecke and Seth Hurwitz
Type Music venue
Genre(s) Various
Seating type standing room / bar and balcony seating
Capacity 1200
Opened 1980
Expanded 1996

Nightclub 9:30 (originally known and still commonly referred to as the 9:30 Club) is a nightclub and concert venue in Washington, D.C.. The club originally opened in 1980 at 930 F St. NW in downtown Washington (hence the name). Co-owned by Rich Heinecke and Seth Hurwitz,[1] it later moved to its current location at 815 V Street NW, anchoring the eastern end of the U Street Corridor.

The club has a capacity of 1200 people and is a standing-only venue. It won the Top Club awards at the 2007 through 2012 Billboard Touring Awards, except in 2008, when the award was not presented.


The 9:30 Club

Founded by Dody DiSanto and Jon Bowers, the 9:30 Club was the home for alternative music in D.C. during the early 1980s and was a regular stopping point for bands touring the east coast as well as local D.C. artists, such as The Slickee Boys, Chuck Brown, Maiesha & The Hip Huggers featuring E.U., Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band. Other performers in the early days of the venue included X, Blue Angel (with lead singer Cyndi Lauper), The Bangles, Hüsker Dü, Erasure, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Violent Femmes, The Butthole Surfers, That Petrol Emotion, The Police, The Replacements (band), Marti Jones, Marshall Crenshaw, Mod Fun, Nash the Slash, The Go-Go's, and Betty (Alyson Palmer of Betty tended bar in the club at the time). Washington music programmer and writer Tom Terrell was instrumental in masterminding the U.S. premiere of reggae band Steel Pulse on the night of Bob Marley's funeral, which was broadcast live worldwide from the 9:30 Club on May 21, 1981.

The 9:30 Club's name was derived from its original street address, 930 F St NW as well as the original opening time of 9:30 p.m.[2] Early advertising on D.C.'s WHFS radio featured the slogan "9:30 - a Place and Time!" Since the early 1980s, the 9:30 Club was known as a progressive venue noted for its talent in discovering up-and-coming acts. Originally claiming an audience of rock and alternative fans, the initial 9:30 years featured acts like the Psychedelic Furs and The Ramones. In the 1980s, the club became most famous for its hardcore punk crowd, who emulated bands such as Black Flag and X. The club allowed fans as young as sixteen to enter. By that point, the club was based around Dischord Records and then-local bands such as 9353, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Government Issue, and The Slickee Boys.

The post-punk jazz outfit Lounge Lizards and local new wave band Tiny Desk Unit were the first bands to play the original location 9:30 Club; however, New York's The Fleshtones were the first band to be booked.[3] As the club and its lineup were growing, the need for a bigger space was becoming increasingly evident. The old 9:30 Club closed its doors on December 31, 1995 and moved to a new location.

The club's final shows at the original location were memorialized on a two-CD set released in 1997 and entitled 9:30 Live - A Time, A Place, A Scene. This live CD, recorded between December 28, 1995, and January 1, 1996, includes local music from the Urban Verbs, Tiny Desk Unit, Mother May I, The Insect Surfers, Tru Fax & the Insaniacs and Black Market Baby.

Nightclub 9:30

A view from the balcony during the Massive Attack show on September 29, 2006

Prior to the January 5, 1996 reopening, the 9:30 owners organized a media/friends "Christening" show featuring The Fleshtones and Too Much Joy. The stage is on wheels and was pushed forward to show the flexibility of the venue to promote small shows as well as large.

On January 5, 1996, after extensive remodeling, the former WUST Radio Music Hall at 815 V St. opened as the Nightclub 9:30. The opening night show included The Smashing Pumpkins.[1] NPR's online music show All Songs Considered broadcasts some concerts at Nightclub 9:30. There is an archive of these shows.

Significant moments

Bob Dylan played two dates on December 4[4] and December 5, 1997,[5] when he was in Washington, D.C. to receive the Kennedy Center Honors. Dylan returned again for an unannounced show on April 2, 2004[6][7] prior to scheduled dates at the Bender Arena and Warner Theatre. Dylan treated the crowd to a rare performance of "Hazel", a song that had been absent from the set lists of his Never Ending Tour for many years.

File:Johnny Marr (The Cribs) at the 9-30 Club.jpg
Johnny Marr performs at the 9:30 Club as part of The Cribs in 2010.

The Beastie Boys performed at the club on June 17, 2004, after a five-year hiatus. This was a radio event sponsored by then WHFS 99.1 FM. The station gave away 1,200 passes for the event to listeners. The night did not go without incident; a major thunderstorm had delayed travel from New York City to Washington. Radio DJ's The Junkies and Tim Virgin read a statement from the Beastie Boys explaining the situation at about 8:30 p.m., including their assurance that they were on the train and that the show would go on at about 11:15 p.m. without a hitch. The crowd was disappointed, but the club immediately relaxed their re-admittance policy and allowed everyone to leave and have dinner if they so desired. In a move to help ease crowd tensions, the Beastie Boys' management had a number of pizzas delivered to the club for fans to eat while they were waiting.[8] Mix Master Mike took the stage at 11:13 p.m. to warm up the crowd. The Beastie Boys came out minutes later on stage in front of a packed house, despite the delay. Posters of this late 9:30 club performance are in the Beastie Boys' video "Triple Trouble", pasted on the walls of the streets the group walk through at 2:13.

O.A.R., who grew up in nearby Rockville, Maryland, recorded the live album Any Time Now at the 9:30 Club on November 23–24, 2001.[9] The 9:30 Club was also home to the band's first stop on their 2012 tour, "Extended Stay," where O.A.R. played four shows.

On June 12, 1998, the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a surprise eleven song set at the club. Money Mark and Propellerheads were the opening acts. The show was the band's first public performance since recently reuniting with guitarist John Frusciante who had quit the band in 1992 although the band had performed a short in-studio acoustic set of mostly cover songs a week early for a radio show in Los Angeles. The 9:30 Club show was seen as a warm-up for their performance the next day at the Tibetan Freedom Concert which was held at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. although due to bad weather, their set at the concert was cancelled however Pearl Jam agreed to perform a shorter set so the Chili Peppers could perform a few songs.[10][11]

Jimmy Eat World recorded the live DVD Believe in What You Want after the release of the album Bleed American at 9:30 Club. It was released November 26, 2002.

In 2003, local band The Pietasters released their first live video DVD, Live at The 9:30 Club.

The Smashing Pumpkins celebrated the release of Zeitgeist, their first album in seven years, at the 9:30 Club on July 10, 2007. The event was depicted in the band's 2008 DVD documentary, If All Goes Wrong.

Radiohead played a secret show at the venue on June 13, 1998 in which Michael Stipe of R.E.M. fame sang with the band on one of their hits. They decided to play this show because their appearance at the Tibetan Freedom Concert held at RFK Stadium was delayed to the next day due to bad weather. Additionally, the Beastie Boys attended as part of the crowd.

Bob Mould performed at the club on October 7, 2005, and released a subsequent DVD of the concert called Circle of Friends.

On November 24, 2007, Hawthorne Heights guitarist and screamer Casey Calvert was found dead of a drug overdose on their tour bus, which was parked outside the club.

In September 2009, the newly reunited Alice In Chains kicked off their U.S. tour at the 9:30 Club with new singer William DuVall.[12]

On December 28, 2009, Clutch recorded their DVD Live at the 9:30 Club, performing their self-titled album, Clutch, in its entirety.

In May 2010, the legendary reggae band Steel Pulse performed their charity song Hold On [4 Haiti] for the first time. All proceeds from the song go to the Solar Electric Light Fund and Partners In Health to solar electrify health clinics in Haiti.[13]

In June 2010, Courtney Love and the newly reformed Hole performed a disastrous set described by the Washington Post as a three-hour epic train wreck. A barely coherent Love stumbled, complained and stripped through an entire set composed mostly of incomplete versions of the band's songs. Most members of the audience left before the set ended.

On 30 July 2010, house music producer deadmau5 collapsed on stage in the middle of a set and was rushed to the hospital. He had been suffering from exhaustion and vomiting. This collapse led to the cancellation of the nine shows which followed the event.

In 2011, Adele performed here as part of her 2011 tour. She sold out the venue in less than 2 minutes, and the show grossed $45,000.

On February 24, 2012, Soul Rebels Brass Band were the subject of an NPR national broadcast of their show with Galactic live from the 9:30 Club. The broadcast was syndicated on NPR and through other affiliates across the United States as well as webcast on[14]


Nightclub 9:30 has been awarded "Nightclub of the Year" honors four times by Pollstar,[citation needed] the concert industry trade journal. And for most of that time, it has also been Pollstar's top ticket-selling club. In 2004, the 9:30 sold 236,112 tickets.[15]

Rolling Stone Magazine online rated the club the #1 Big Room in America. Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump said, "It's got so much character, you wonder if the locals know how lucky they are."


  1. ^ a b Harrington, Richard (2005-05-27). "25 Years Later, It's Still 9:30". The Washington Post. p. WE06. 
  2. ^ "Rock Legend: A History of D.C.'s 9:30 Club". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ Harrington, Richard (1990-05-27). "The 9:30 Club, Just in Time; Ten Years Later, Still Catching the Next Wave". The Washington Post. p. G01. 
  4. ^ Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 12/04/97
  5. ^ Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 12/05/97
  6. ^ "Music". The Washington Post. August 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Reviews - 4/2/04
  8. ^ "Beastie Boys @ 9:30 Club, 6/17/04". Message Board. Archived from the original on 2007-12-10. 
  9. ^ | of a revolution (O.A.R.) setlist archive
  10. ^ The Side Tour History
  11. ^ The Side:Pics
  12. ^ Alice in Chains Kick Off U.S. Tour in DC
  13. ^ HoldOn4Haiti,org
  14. ^ "The Soul Rebels in Concert". Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Harrington, Richard (May 27, 2005). "25 Years Later, It's Still 9:30". The Washington Post. 

External links