Popular venues in the Greater New Haven area

Taylor Richards Copy Editor

Since the Greater New Haven area sits between the two cities of New York and Boston, SCSU students aren’t far from big-name venues to see their favorite bands. Even though students have those opportunities, many have a lot of favorite venues in the New Haven area.

One of the most popular venues is Toad’s Place downtown on York Street. According to their website, they’ve been an active location for local and non-local acts for 40 years.

“Toad’s has the best shows,” said Mac Hughes, freshmen. “I’ve recently seen Juicy J and ASAP Rocky. I also like it when my friends’ bands play there too, it’s always a good time.”

One of the biggest reasons Toad’s Place is a favorite for many students is the fact that local bands, which could very well be a friend or classmate’s band, often get the opportunity to play there as well. Toad’s Place usually gives opening bands a stack of reduced price tickets for the band to hand out to their friends, so a cut from those tickets goes towards them.

Toad’s Place is also popular for the laid-back environment they keep up. “You don’t get messed with at Toad’s,” said Nick Firella, sophomore. “It’s so easy to hang outside in between sets and meet new people. I also love the giant frog in the bathroom.”

Another popular venue for students is The Space and The Outer Space. The Space is an all-ages venue on Treadwell Street in Hamden with an arcade and vintage store on the upper level and the stage and cafe on the lower. The Outer Space is the bar across the same open lot with a smaller stage. Geography major Will Durant said he frequently performs at the Outer Space’s open mic.

“The parking for The Space is the best, there’s just one huge lot big enough for everyone,” said Durant. “I love The Space for smaller acts. I know some of the employees and there’s just a really kind atmosphere over there.”

Durant said along with doing open mics at The Outer Space, he has also performed at The Space many times with his band “The Oddbodies.”

The Space and Toad’s Place have been popular venues for big and small acts in the Greater New Haven area for many years, but just this year, College Street Music Hall opened for bigger acts downtown. According to their website, they opened May 1 of this year on the site of the Old Palace and Roger Sherman Theatre.

Junior Emilio Flores recently attended the sold-out “Beach House” show on Aug. 26. “Before I even went I could tell the venue was promising with all the big-name artists they were already booking,” said Flores. He plans on seeing “Ride” this month and “Wavves” in October. Flores also said that the venue was the perfect size.

“The standing area for general admission had different levels to it, which gave you a good view of the stage wherever you were. The sound was also really great.”

Flores is also excited that Manic Productions, a local booking agency, has frequently been booking shows for College Street Music Hall since he’s been going to shows by them for years.

Durant has also been to College Street Music Hall to see “Less Than Jake” and “Reel Big Fish” this summer. He said that the sound was amazing and he thinks this is the perfect New Haven location for bigger acts.

“I’m really excited for the future of this venue,” said Durant.

Photo Credit: Greg Scranton – “Speedy Ortiz” playing at Toad’s Place


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