The Lawrence Arms’ Brendan Kelly’s Top Five Venues

1) Metro – Chicago
2) Arena – Vienna
3) Abandoned peep show in Paris
4) Boat on the Hudson River
5) Mermaid in New Orleans

Click ‘Read more’ to find out why…

The Metro is kind of our home venue, where we do all our big Chicago shows and as such, it’s by far my favorite place to play. I used to work there, for fuckssakes. The Arena in Vienna is probably the coolest venue in the world as it’s a massive compound with something like five different sized venues all on the grounds, and amazing food and cool bars. It’s as close to Pleasure Island as I’ve ever seen on this Earth, but without all the cigars and donkeys. We played in Pigalle which is the red light district of Paris, right down the street from the Moulin Rouge in an abandoned peepshow. It was tiny, sweaty and packed, there was a stripper pole on the stage between Chris and I, and the bartender was a transvestite that our tour manager fell in love with.

We also played a show in a moving boat that sailed down the Manhattan shore, circled the Statue of Liberty and featured a great vibe, dancing crowd and full bar. It was probably the coolest show I’ve ever played. Finally, the Mermaid in New Orleans was this shitty dive that we used to play when we first started out. It was one of those places where everyone would just get hammered and have fun. Once, Chris jumped from the stage onto the bar and back onto the stage mid song. Not an easy feat considering that he could barely stand at the time. The Mermaid doesn’t do shows anymore, but when I think of our band as young, wasted, reckless and stinky, I think of those shows at the mermaid. Honorable mention to The Verge in London [RIP, sadly – Ed]which is the first show we ever sold out that was outside of the US.

Click here for more info on The Lawrence Arms’ upcoming EP ‘Buttsweat And Tears’