How about the Main Line? Its restaurant and brew pub scene is rapidly improving, it has a good repertory/art movie theater in Bryn Mawr, and it’s as beautiful and safe as ever – no worries about smelling urine, stepping through broken glass, smash-and-grabs, or any of the other vagaries of big city urban life. Nope, just flowers, trees, stone walls, and lots and lots of shades of green. Pretty darn nice. But what about music? Well, even that is on the upswing.
You already know about the Ardmore Music Hall. A small club that often features national acts, AMH proudly stood as the singular Main Line live music venue of any repute. Then Wayne joined the scene with 118 North. In a really small space formerly used by a restaurant, 118 North features small and local acts and very modest cover charges. Hey, one more thing about both of these clubs: free parking abounds. And the kind of free parking where you don’t question whether your car will still be there when you get back, or whether that really dark street will be safe when the show is over at 1 am.
We went to 118 on a random Friday night because a blues cover band called Blues Uprising was playing and we hadn’t made other plans. It cost all of $5 to get in with no ticket fees or handling charges pegged on top of that. No drink minimums, either. In other words, $10 gets you and your friend into the place to see live music and dance and carry on. If you want a drink, it’s got a big beer selection (who doesn’t these days?) and full bar, but you don’t have to buy anything. Light on the wallet and 10 minutes from home is about as good as it gets.
Remarkably, Blues Uprising played blues-based rock. I wouldn’t call it a blues show per se, but there were some tunes penned by guys like Robert Johnson on display. The band played a lot of decent versions of well-known blues-based rock tunes, and some tunes that I didn’t know were blues-based. Ostensibly a trio, they brought up another guitarist for a few songs, and then a female singer with a sweet voice to carry them into some tracks they would otherwise have had to skip. They were pretty good, and the crowd was having fun.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that this was a great show. It wasn’t. But it filled my live music jones for an evening, was inexpensive, and was fun. We’ve been to 118 North a couple of times now, and enjoyed it each time. I’m giving it a thumbs up and welcome to the neighborhood.
It’s kind of sleepy vacation time now. Mid-August is still full-on summer, but we all know that it’s coming to an end soon enough. Let’s keep the sweet summer thing rolling for now, and we’ll do the back-to-school special later on. Thanks for reading and keep coming back to hang out with me. I like your company, and the fact that you always reach over and turn the volume UP!
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.