Subterranean (Bar & Music Venue, Wicker Park)

Photo Credit: Allison Felus

What trounce through Wicker Park would be complete without some live music? Not one that I want to be a part of. On the evening of this particular bar crawl the stars seemed to be aligned for us UPChicagoans: one of our writers, Andrew, had a previously canceled gig rescheduled at SubT for the very night that we’d be staggering around the area.

Subterranean is perfectly positioned right next door to Estelle’s, which makes it damn near impossible to end your night early, not that I’m complaining. Covers tend to me on the cheaper side for weeknight shows ($8 to see the gloriously New Order-esque Moon Furies) and the bar has a nice mix of super affordable beer’s and decent micros. The checkerboard main floor has excellent sight-lines and good sound, but the best place to take in a show is from the second floor. The front of the balcony has a direct line to the stage and a small bar tucked right behind it. At any moment you’re 180° from either booze or the show. Can’t beat that.

While weeknight crowds for local acts can be a little sparse Subterranean does get rowdy. I remember seeing Gogol Bordello here in ’04 and thinking the whole place would bust open at the seams, spilling drunk punks out onto North Avenue. That didn’t happen, of course, but it could have.

Moon Furies eventually wound their set down, we finished our beers and began to negotiate the staircase down to street level. After all, there was drinking to do elsewhere. Lemming’s was on the horizon… right? I have trouble remembering.

The Essentials:
Location: 2011 W. North Ave
Phone:  773-278-6600

Gene Wagendorf III

About Gene Wagendorf III

Gene is a writer who has spent his entire quarter century of life as a resident of Chicago. When not exploring the city he can be found wandering flea markets and garage sales or having a cigarette between classes at Northeastern Illinois University, where he hopes to acquire a degree in the next quarter century. His favorite smells are old books and bowling alleys. His poetry (how embarrassing!) can be found in issues of Kill Poet, Ditch, Word Riot, O Sweet Flowery Roses and Vowel Movements.

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