Category: Venues

Venue Review: Vaudeville Mews

Stepping into the Vaudeville Mews is no small deal. You’d better be prepared (mentally and physically) for whatever music may come your way, and the sweaty dancing bodies you’ll encounter—if you come late enough (read: just before they close the bar). The minute you enter the venue’s red doors—after pushing your way past the cigarette-smoking crowd that gathers between acts—you’ll be bombarded with posters and handouts promoting upcoming events plastered on the wall. From local favorites Derek Lambert and the Prairie Fires and The River Monks to touring must-sees like the Mynabirds and Deer Tick there’s something for everyone. And guess what? You’ve only made it to the entryway.

Venue Review: Wooly’s

The light from the faux-streetlamps bounced off the hardwood floors, casting shadows from the revelers who could be bothered to show up on time. To my left, a newly varnished bar spread liquor and beers for what seemed like the length of a state highway, back-lit in a way that somehow highlights the heaven and hell of hard liquor. All this while underneath the glow of high definition basketball.


Behind me, animal trophies were mounted as if to say, “The animals were slaughtered by rock.” The stage set high above those of us on the floor; lording over us in a way that stages in this town rarely do. It was reminding us that while there were other reasons to be there, music was the ruler of this joint. The high ceilings and exposed rafters added a slight cathedral feel to the place, as if we were about to hear the Pope pontificate, and not just a dirty garage band.


That was the setting as Wooly’s, at 504 East Locust, opened this past weekend. The night featured two Des Moines acts: The Holy White Hounds and Bright Giant.


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