Peace in ‘The Middle East’


“I’m heading to the Middle East tonight” is a phrase I say often. No, I’m not talking about the actual Middle East, but one of the many concert venues in the Boston area.

Located on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, the area surrounding The Middle East is always filled with people because of the many restaurants and shops. The Middle East also is a restaurant, but with two concert venues as well.

The “upstairs” venue is a small room in the back of the restaurant that holds about 200 people. Music genres ranging from pop to rock to indie play there. It’s a cool space because this is where many local singers and bands—such as Jillian Jensen, Stay Seventeen, and, one of my personal favorites, A Rocket to the Moon—got their start.

Parachute playing at The Middle East. // PHOTO BY JESSICA ASCIOLLA

Parachute playing at The Middle East. // PHOTO BY JESSICA ASCIOLLA

The “downstairs” is a bigger area where better known bands play. The Middle East attracts people of all ages, but it’s mostly people in their early-20s.

I went to The Middle East last week with two of my friends to see a show. One of my favorite bands, Parachute, was playing downstairs. It was my first time seeing them in concert, and they put on an incredible show. They played to a sold-out crowd filled with many college-aged girls and guys. Parachute is now touring out West, but it’s worth the money to see them live when they return to Boston.

The best part of this place is the small, intimate feel. Even if you’re stuck in the back, you still feel a connection to the artist; something that does not happen in a huge arena.

It’s why I love live music so much. I get to be in a room filled with different people, watching our favorite artists do what they love. Trust me: Take a trip to The Middle East.

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