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Wednesday, November 9, 2011


VENUE: Newport Music Hall
Written By Josh Weiker

 Location:  1722 N. High Street (between 12th and 13th Ave.)
Events Calendar: Link
 Genres:  Variety - Nationally touring acts
Cover:  +$20
Drinks:  $5 - $10
 Perks: Balcony

Sitting just off the heart of the Ohio State campus is the Newport Music Hall. With its giant billboard promoting upcoming shows, and the almost ritualistic line of patrons awaiting entrance, it’s almost impossible to not notice this place. 
Primarily an outlet for nationally touring bands, this is a venue’s venue. The interior is very spacious, with an upper balcony for your alternative viewing pleasures – but don’t let the space fool you, this place gets packed. The main pit is usually the most crowded and rowdy, and if that’s not really your thing, rest assured, there is usually enough room to dance in the wings. Again, the balcony is a great spot for getting a good look at the band, people watching, or trying to find somewhere to sit down for a bit, but most of the fun is being had on the ground floor. 

There isn’t really a patio, as much as a door that takes you out to a small, semi-fenced area, where you can get some fresh air and/or smoke between back-alley buildings (but be advised, you can’t take your drink with you – lame, right?)

Beginning as a movie theatre, and then spending a short time as a ballroom, the Newport officially became a music hall in the mid-80s. After one look, it’s not hard to tell that this place has been arranged for one thing – live music. With a very simple bar set up (pretty much domestic draft beers), and minimal options for sitting, this probably won’t be a place to hang out all night, or frequent on a regular basis. If you happen to attend a show at Newport, then definitely make post-show plans. 

Most shows let out kind of early, and it’s usually nice to go to a bar where you can unwind and cool down after a show, not to mention get some liquor for a decent price. The Newport Music Hall is tied in with PromoWest Productions, which also manages the stages at The LC, Stage AE, The Basement, and the A&R Music Bar. Additionally, CD 102.5 (previously CD101) helps coordinate their shows, which occasionally gives local musicians an opportunity to play on these bigger stages.

The radio station also frequently uses this venue to present its “Low Dough Shows;” in which a better known or rising band is featured, and tickets are usually around $5 - which is a steal, being that the average ticket price for a show at the Newport falls within the realm of more than twenty dollars.


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