217 E. Houston St., New York, NY (@ Ludlow St.)
Drawing lofty comparisons to Seattle’s Crocodile Café, Mercury Lounge has perfected the recipe for booking up-and-coming acts at affordable prices, housing them in an intimate-enough atmosphere and consistently attracting high-energy crowds. The Lower East Side location doesn’t hurt either – attracting an eclectic mix of neighbors, artists and music lovers alike, Mercury also reels in an interesting fringe following – bankers and bridge-and-tunnel types sneak in here for their occasional rock fix too. With CBGB’s gone, this is one venue that really is still all about the music – the kind of place where you’re likely to share a lager with the bassist before the show – and your best bet to catch the next best band before they hit the big-time likes of Madison Square Garden.
Photo credit: Rez Avizzar | Bear in Heaven @ Mercury Lounge | January 27, 2010