DC ROCKS likes old dive bars. Their atmosphere can't be manufactured even though the experience might include uneven sound and a decent chance of being christened by your neighbor's beer while watching a band. The flip side is being able to hear live music for little or no cover, and usually being able to worm your way up front. The 9:30 Club used to meet all these qualifications and then some. We called it "the dirty thirty," and the rats that cohabited the space were legendary, but the club was magical, the shows sometimes historic. In 1996 The 9:30 moved from its namesake address at 930 F Street to occupy the WUST Radio Music Hall on V Street. The original back bar was installed in the basement of the new club, and if you go down there you'll get a sense of what the old place was like- kind of dark and a little bit scary
But upstairs is nothing like the old club. Upstairs is a premiere venue for bands with an outstanding sound system, two floors of watching and three huge bars. One thing that does remain the same: some of the bands that played the old space still play the new including X and the Reverend Horton Heat. For those of you still reading this post, your reward is a chance to win tickets for this show at the (new) 9:30 Club on December 4. To win send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "Ticket Contest" in the subject heading and include a short anecdote about the old club, or about your favorite DC dive. The winner will receive a pair of tickets and have their anecdote published in DC ROCKS. Contest ends at midnight Friday, November 16.