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Best Underground Venue Denver 2007 - Blast-o-Mat


2935 W. 7th Ave.

Denver, CO 80204

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Over the years, a number of DIY spots have appeared -- Pancho's Villa, the Junkyard, Garageland, the Hipster Youth Halfway House -- and all have inevitably burned out after short but fiery existences. The latest to carry the torch is Blast-o-Mat, a garage turned totally sweet venue. Attracting city kids on road bikes and punkers in pegged jeans, Blast is an underground enclave, away from the overhyped and overdone bar scene, a community haven for misfits and rockers. But its location in the industrial refuse of a small working-class neighborhood can make it difficult for the uninitiated to find -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Blast-o-Mat experience hinges on the frenetic passion of its select patrons and can be succinctly summed up with the quaint axiom spray-painted in capital letters on the wall behind the tiny stage: "ROCK LIKE THE FUCK."
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I recently went to the Blast-O-Mat to see my friend's son's Punk band. I had a hard time finding the location due to no visible sign or street number. It's near the NE corner of Federal Blvd. & 7th Ave - just E of the car wash.

For what it is, I was impressed. It's not a night club and does not serve alcohol. It's basically a metal garage turned into a jam room. The inside is relatively small but intimate. The Halloween decorations were still up and added to the atmosphere. Due to the metal structure, the acoustics are not ideal. I was glad that I brought ear plugs! You gotta give "management" credit for creating the venue.

Outside the jam room is a large open space for sitting and mingling. I was there on a clear crisp Fall night and the outdoor fireplace was awesome. It was kept stoked all night and provided warmth and a great location for conversation.

What I liked most about the venue was the kids. There were little to no pretenders or wannabees. They seemed to all be genuine. Despite the fact that I am twice the age of most of the kids and don't have any piercings, it didn't matter as conversations from music to politics came easy.

In today's get in the car and drive society, I thought it was cool that there were very few cars parked outside, yet many bicycles parked inside.

Go to the Blast-O-Mat with some friends and some beer and you'll have a good time!!


Are you serious?! Best Underground Venue . . . if you're 15 years old or younger.