I’ve run out of superlatives for U Street Music Hall, which in less than two years has become the center of D.C.’s dance music scene and one of the country’s most-beloved clubs, thanks mainly to its otherworldly soundsystem. The one wish I had for the club is that it would host more live music in addition to its usual collection of standout DJs, so everyone could feel the full force of that system.
U Hall and 9:30 Club announced a partnership today that will bring live music to U Hall, while 9:30 Club’s tiny Backbar will host local DJs. The thinking behind the partnership is pretty basic — U Hall gets to host some up-and-coming acts, 9:30 Club gets to establish early connections to bands that might be big enough to play the 1,200-capacity club someday and local DJs with the U Hall stamp of approval can try to earn some new fans at Backbar. And music fans get more shows in different venues.
The first “9:30 Club Presents” show at U Hall is the world music-friendly Chopteeth /Alma Tropicalia gig on Dec. 3. Local bands on big area stages — this is also an idea I can get behind.
To make it even more cross-promotional, the Black Cat is co-promoting some shows at U Hall, including two of the highlights on the calendar so far — gothy ice queen Zola Jesus on Feb. 16 and Brooklyn synth-pop duo Chairlift on April 21. Also mark your calendars for Jan. 10, when Portugal’s African-inspired electronic group Buraka Som Sistema visits.