Best Rock Club


From April 1991 until the bitter end in mid-December 2007, there was nothing like the old Crocodile. So many (hazy) memories over the course of those 17 years: the aural wizardry of Jim Anderson, who made everyone sound good; the occasional Peter Buck sighting (if you were lucky, onstage); seeing former Seahawks quarterback Rick Mirer rockin’ flannel at Love Battery shows and pondering whether he had a mosh-pit injury clause in his $15 million contract; more great bands and legendary shows than could fit on this page. So it may sound like heresy, but the new incarnationâ€"call it Croc 2.0â€"is better. The revamped layout is expansive, open, unobstructed (no more massive support column in front of the stage), and thoroughly conducive to loud rock ’n’ roll, drinking, and hanging art (iconic photos by Charles Peterson and Jini Dellaccio, among others). Say goodbye to the sweaty claustrophobia of the old daysâ€"a high ceiling covered with a wooden lattice offers space to breathe and a darker, cleaner vibe, with a 30-foot-long upper level to the right of the stage providing a vertical dimension lacking in the Croc of old, the balcony presenting a different vantage point. The performance space, rotated 90 degrees to the north to face a long bar, dwarfs the previous platform and juts out like a prow, as much altar as stage. The shows haven’t quite lived up to the standards of old, but how could they? It’s a different era, and a more competitive club scene. Don’t worry about the Croc, thoughâ€"this space will always rock. MICHAEL MAHONEY 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618,

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