Mark Mallman's 9 favorite live venues

Updated 7/9/2014

He’s a marathon piano man with a preacher’s fervor — and a tour-blogging Kerouac.

Mark Mallman rocking out at the Turf Club.
Tom Wallace

1. First Avenue

701 1st Av. N., Mpls. • www.first-avenue.com

The greatest rock club in America, from the sight lines to the sound system, from the staff to the stars on the wall. A part of music history.

 

2. Turf Club

1601 W. University Av., St. Paul • www.turfclub.net

Everybody’s heart has a little Turf Club inside. People go here to see a concert and end up meeting the person they will eventually marry. Pure magic.

 

3. Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

810 W. Lake St., Mpls. • www.bryantlakebowl.com

An intense little space where music can be taken to such a profound level of intimate confession that it’s hard to believe a door to Lake Street is just behind the black velvet curtain.

 

4. Triple Rock Social Club

629 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. • www.triplerocksocialclub.com

A place where the rappers and the punks don’t fight with each other — instead they create dance inventions of raw power.

 

5. Icehouse

2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. • www.icehouse­mpls.com

Watch some of our most talented jazz and experimental musicians play “out,” sip one of Johnny Michaels’ craft cocktails and hit on your friend’s mom or dad (or both) — all on a Sunday night.

 

6. Memory Lanes

2520 26th Av. S., Mpls. • www.memorylanesmpls.com

Who doesn’t love a bowling alley where punk rock bands play on the lanes? Get your punk on. Get your bowl on.

 

7. Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. • www.thecedar.org

This West Bank treasure is a historic nonprofit that hosts brainiac talent like Bill Frisell, Why? and Jandek.

 

8. Varsity Theater

1308 SE. 4th St., Mpls. • www.varsitytheater.org

The spirit of visionary Jason McLean’s elegant old vaudeville house is gourmet down to the brickwork. The ceiling is solid, too — I’ve been suspended upside down from it on more than one occasion.

 

9. Lee’s Liquor Lounge

101 Glenwood Av., Mpls. • www.leesliquorlounge.com

A museum piece in vintage country, where dancing to rockabilly all night just might bring on nostalgic tears ... ’cause you’re damn proud to be an American! #merica