Atlanta Music Venues — The EARL

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be a running series of posts I write about Atlanta’s music venues. These will not be in any particular order and who knows, maybe every once in a while I’ll dip back and post about a venue that is no longer in business.

This week I will choose the venue which has probably gotten more of my money than any others since I moved to Atlanta in January, 1995 — The EARL.

I moved to East Atlanta in March, 1999 and a handful of months after that The EARL, which actually stands for East Atlanta Restaurant and Lounge, opened its doors for business. From the building’s front you’d never know that this bar contained a great little music room that has seen the likes of many “big name” acts.

If the three rules of real estate are “1) Location 2) Location 3) Location” then the three rules of concert venues should be “1) Act Booking 2) Act Booking 3) Act Booking.” Let’s be honest, you can create a great music venue, but if you don’t book acts that people want to come and see/hear you are missing the point. For almost ten years The EARL’s bookings have been stellar.

As an added bonus The EARL serves up some of the best bar food in town. Show up early for a show (which, be forewarned rarely starts before 9pm weeknight and 10pm weekend at The EARL) and eat.

    What I Like

  • The sound is usually loud, but is mixed well and sounds great. Earplugs are for sale from a gumball machine if you want protection from the loudness.
  • There really is no bad seat in the room, in fact there are almost no seats in the room.
  • There is a back bar which makes it easy to keep your drink on while continuing to hear the music.
  • Shows start late.
  • Prices for shows at The EARL are usually in the $10-$20 range.
    What I Dislike

  • Low ceilings and many smokers — I call The EARL “The Home of the ‘Two Pack Minimum'”
  • The bathrooms in the music room are usually nasty.
  • Shows start late. (My post, I can both Like and Dislike this.)

Address : 468 Flat Shoals Av, Atlanta, GA, 30316
Capacity1 : ~300
Cameras Allowed? : Yes
Smoking Allowed? : Yes, although rarely shows are “Smoke Free”
All Ages? : No, 21+
Ticket Source : Ticket Alternative or at the door on the night of a given show
Favorite Shows I’ve Seen : Bob Mould, Alejandro Escovedo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dick Dale, Meat Puppets, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, The Hold Steady, The Long Ryders

What’s your opinion of The EARL?


1 Comment so far

  1. bking on July 10th, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

    The first show I saw at the EARL was the Black Lips on New Years 2003/2004. They set off fire crackers inside and the lead singer did a flying karate kick off an amp into the guitarist or the bass player. The whole experience certainly gave a great introduction to the establishment.

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