Last week, Rolling Stone kicked off its new Venues That Rock series with a list of the twenty best rock clubs in America. Three Colorado venues were ranked in the top twenty: Belly Up in Aspen, which checked in at number sixteen, the Bluebird Theater, which earned a nod at number fourteen, and the Fox Theatre, which landed the fourth spot. According to the magazine, the list was tabulated with the input of dozens of managers, promoters and musicians (full list here).
As rad as it is to see those venues being recognized, you have to wonder just how much work went into putting the list itself together: The description for the Fox, for instance, is exactly once paltry sentence long and manages to squeeze in a left-handed compliment referring to Boulder as an "old hippie town." The descriptions of the Bluebird and the Belly Up aren't any more enlightening, unfortunately. Oh, well. You have to consider the source: This is the same publication that left Twist & Shout and Wax Trax out of its list of the 25 Best Record Stores in the country.
Grumbling aside, the prestige is nice. It's nice and certainly well deserved to see the Fox, Bluebird and Belly Up getting accolades alongside some other great and storied venues across the country, like the Bowery Ballroom in New York, the Troubadour in L.A., the Empty Bottle in Chicago, the Continental in Austin, the Middle East in Boston and the 40 Watt in Athens. And if the thumbnails touting the other forthcoming lists are any indication, we can presumably expect some plaudits for Red Rocks in the list of amphitheaters, due on Friday, June 21.