Driving the Boston Music Scene

BY KEVIN DIFFILY // OCT. 3, 2013 //

Boston is home to a wealth of concert venues that attract big-name artists as well as huge crowd demand. The TD Garden has hosted some of the biggest acts in the world in recent years, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rihanna, the Foo Fighters and Justin Bieber. The House of Blues, Boston has also played host to bands of high caliber recently, such as Fall Out Boy, The Offspring, New Found Glory, and Yellowcard.

Bands like The Hideout aren't in it for money or modest notoriety, let alone fame. They simply love to play music.
Bands like The Hideout aren’t in it for money or modest notoriety, let alone fame. They simply love to play music.

The Paradise Rock Club, located on Boston University’s West campus, recently hosted the Arctic Monkeys, one of the biggest alternative bands on the planet. The ’Dise, as it is affectionately known, is also where U2 played their first show in the United States way back in the 1970s.

It’s obvious that Boston has an amazing music scene. But where does the fuel for this scene come from?

If you ask me, the answer is the local punk and hardcore fans. There are countless dive bars and basement clubs across the area, from Allston to Cambridge to Quincy, that have small-scale shows featuring local bands every weekend. In fact, I recently went with my roommate and some friends to see his brother’s band, The Hideout, play a basement show at The Cantab in Cambridge. (The basement is referred to as Club Bohemia to distinguish from the bar upstairs.)

There were four bands, all of which hail from the Boston area, at this show: The New Warden, Trophy Lungs, The Hideout, and The Offseason. The cover charge was $10, and the bar had $4 Narragansett Lagers—a staple of the New England music scene—on tap. Each band mostly played punk rock and pop-punk, and played for about half an hour.

What struck me most about the show was the camaraderie between the bands and their fans. While there were probably no more than 30 people in the crowd, the atmosphere was enjoyable because most people knew at least one of the bands personally. No one was earning big bucks from their performances; the bands were just playing because they love to do it. The crowd was there because they wanted to support the local bands.

This is the passion that makes the Boston area such a great place to see a concert. So get out there and support the local music scene.

Boston on the Cheap

BY JUSTIN SOME // FEB. 25, 2013 //

 

Many Curry students are apprehensive about spending time in Boston because of the cost. While it is true there are a lot of expensive restaurants and events in Beantown, there is also much to do for college students on a tight budget.

Most people know that Samuel Adams Lager is brewed in Boston, but not everyone knows that the brewery hosts free public tours every Monday through Saturday. The brewery is located on 30 Germania St., near Roxbury Crossing, and is accessible by taking the Orange Line to Stony Brook. Tours are offered from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. every 45 minutes on a first-come-first-serve basis. It’s best to arrive at the brewery earlier in the day to get your ticket. Although the tours are free, they do ask that visitors make a $2 “donation.”

A tour is given at the Samuel Adams brewery. // Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mroach/3336864000/sizes/m/in/photostream/
A tour is given at the Samuel Adams brewery. // Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mroach/3336864000/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Highlights of the tour include observing the brewing process and the different ingredients that make the lager. At the end of the tour, you are brought into a brewing room and are given free samples of various flavors of Samuel Adams Lager. You must be 21 or over to take the tour.

If you are looking for a good meal with friends, but aren’t looking to spend a ton of money, head over to the Pour House, located on 907 Boylston St. It’s a short walk from the Hynes Convention Center stop on the Green Line, across the street from the Hynes Convention Center itself and the Prudential Center.

The Pour House has a variety of items on their menu, ranging from brunch to Mexican food. They also have specials throughout the week, and on Saturday nights from 6-10 all burgers are 50 percent off. In addition, most appetizers are less than $7, as are the wings and most every sandwich. No item on their menu costs more than $10.

The staff is very friendly and provides great service. Pour House offers a typical bar atmosphere with plenty of TV’s to catch a big game or big event. Most of the guests are college students from other Boston schools, creating a fun atmosphere.

Don’t let a light wallet keep you on campus. There’s plenty to do, eat and drink on the cheap in Boston.

Wet Your Whistle

BY ERIN POWERS // FEB. 29, 2012 //

If you’re a college student and you’ve somehow figured out how to grow a money tree, or you’ve miraculously managed to save up thousands of dollars from that part-time job you had over the summer, kudos to you. I’m living off the $50 a week my parents so generously provide me as I finish my last semester of college.

Needless to say, you won’t find me sipping Goose on the rocks at the Top of the Hub anytime soon. However, I am a sucker for a good time and I seem to find myself a cold beer and a good atmosphere most weekends. Over the years, I’ve gathered up a list (in no particular order) of my favorite spots in Boston.

On the top of that list is Flann O’Brians, located next to the Museum of Fine Arts. If you’re looking for a cheap beer, this is your bar. With drafts for around $3 and low-priced pitchers, you’ll be sure to leave happy. It’s a mellow atmosphere, but a fine place to bring a rowdy group. If you’re feeling that unexpected urge to publicly humiliate yourself, then karaoke Saturdays here would be a good pick. They also have trivia on Tuesdays, and if you’re looking for a game of pool they have that, too.

If you’re looking for a more up-beat setting, but there’s only a lonely Andrew Jackson left in your pocket, the Hub Pub is a good spot for a drink. This two-floor bar is located downtown and offers ridiculously cheap pitchers and greasy finger foods to cure those “drunchies.” The upstairs lounge is a nice spot; it has a good view of the dance floor below and has an “I’m wealthy enough for V.I.P” feel to it. Plus, they play a good mix of rock and dance music, as well as throwbacks and top 40.

Bleacher Bar is one of my all-times favorites, in part because of its location. This one-of-kind-bar is found on Lansdowne Street in the actual bleachers of Fenway Park. The prime time to go is obviously during a Sox game, but the place is alive year-round. And it’s sure to be full of broke college students since the prices are extremely low. The atmosphere lacks nothing and should be experienced by everyone at least once—unless you’re from New York.

The Enormous Room on Mass Ave. in Cambridge is probably the most upscale place I visit. However, $3 Narragansetts work for anyone on a tight budget. A good pregame before you head to this spot couldn’t hurt. The atmosphere is classy, but the crowd isn’t snobby. There is always good music and the inside is cozy, great for a weekday cocktail or a weekend night out on the town.

Check back with this blog for other deals and discounts. When it comes to socializing in Boston on a college student’s budget, every penny counts. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like having an extra $5 in their pocket for the McDonalds drive-thru in the wee hours of the morning?