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Venue Series: The Troubadour

By February 6, 2013 Venue Series
Presenting our Venue Series where we will talk about our favorite music venues in Los Angeles — from parking tips, to drink prices, and where to position yourself for the best view. This is your guide to the concert scene as written by actual, nightly concertgoers. First up: Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA.
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8452897544 8a65c6c51c o Venue Series: The Troubadour

Address: 9081 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069
Contact number: (310) 276-1158

Many legendary performers have taken the stage at the Troubadour such as Elton John, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Van Morrison among many others. What we love about this venue is the size wherein it’s small enough to have an intimate experience with your favorite band, but big enough to have some room to yourself. It’s just the right capacity really. This is where we first saw Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men on their first US tour and they’ve since gone on to play the biggest music festivals around the world. I’ve gone to so many shows here on my own and can’t recall a single bad memory. They’ve got a great staff who treat you well and leave you be. The sound quality here is usually top notch and the overall vibe is very chill.

 

Basics

The people working at the Troubadour are extremely nice even the security guys. Just be cooperative and try not to be an ass. The box office only accepts cash. Their shows tend to sell out so check their events page to purchase tickets in advance. If you’re there early to pick up tickets from will call, do not forget to ask if you’re in the right line! DO NOT BRING any food items inside — gum, candy, water, tacos, and the like will be confiscated (nicely though). We also do not recommend sneaking in professional cameras unless you know for a fact that the band/artist you’re seeing is okay with it. In general, non-professional cameras are okay. TRY TO BRING ear plugs. It will save your hearing.

Parking is tricky. Get here at least an hour early (or two if it’s a high profile sold out show) to find a good spot on the street where meters are off from 6pm. Read the signs carefully or you will get towed. Otherwise, there are quite a few other options which will cost you a bit more. If you don’t mind walking, you could try the Municipal Parking Structure which is a few blocks away. You can also do the $10 valet service if you’re desperate.

Public transportation is possible, but not recommended if traveling alone. LA Metro Bus Line 4 stops exactly in front of the venue and runs 24 hours a day.

Smoking is awful, but permitted outside of the venue in a small, roped area.

Food and drinks are served at the bar. They serve bar food like fries and hamburgers which are actually quite good! They accept cash and credit cards. If you are under 21, you will not receive the magical wristband that gives access to a number of moderately priced magical drinks. Sorry about that! If you prefer to eat and drink elsewhere, you’ve got a ton of options in every price range. There are two Starbucks within your reach (a kiosk at Pavilion’s and a bigger one a bit farther away) and many restaurants serving different cuisines. A personal favorite of mine is Rounds Burgers just two blocks or so away. So worth it!

The best spots are everywhere! Because of Troubadour’s size, you can pretty much stand anywhere and still get a good view. This is especially important for tiny concertgoers like me who try to get as near to the stage as possible. I’ve stayed in the middle of a crowd and carried on just fine here. The balcony offers limited seating too if you prefer to sit, but it’s first come, first served.

 

Photography

Photo passes are a must for dSLRs in most cases. If you have one, good! This gives you access to take photos from the side of the stage which can be very beneficial in getting some good shots of the band and the crowd. This, however, does not give you the right to be a douche. So try to respect audience who paid to have a good time and always excuse yourself as you move about especially if it’s packed. This is probably basic etiquette, but it needs to be said. Also, do NOT use flash. The band will hate you for it. Everyone will despise you for it. Make good decisions. Lighting is generally good, but tends to be heavy on reds. This might also depend on the artist.

 

The point is

This is a great mid-size venue at the heart of West Hollywood that has been around for a very long time. It is well-loved for a reason and if you do it right, you can have a very good experience here.

 

Shows we’ve enjoyed here

- Sondre Lerche and Fancy Colors
- Chairlift and Nite Jewel
- Bowerbirds and Dry the River
- Of Monsters and Men and Lay Low
- William Fitzsimmons and Denison Witmer