It doesn't matter what area of Vermont you live in, Higher Ground owns the live music circuit in Vermont. It is every local band's dream to play there (and fill the room) and anyone who enjoys live music in Vermont needs to check out a show there. I think lots of folks, especially those older than myself, seem to think it's just for kids or something. There is no type that goes to Higher Ground. It is a live music venue, meaning you don't go there for a night at the bars - you go there to enjoy live music. The crowd depicts what music is playing. From bouncy hippie music to two-steppin' country - um, vastly different audiences at those shows. From intelligent folk music to rap - more vastly different audiences.
Ok, I have done enough bossing around to have people check out Higher Ground. What I really wanted to write about was three coolio areas/aspects of Higher Ground (besides that they have music for everyone, unless of course you belong to the lame group of people who say you don't like music).
1.) They have really stepped it up from their old venue in Winooski.
While I still have nostalgic memories of my times at the old Higher Ground, especially it being the first place in Vermont I actually would go out by myself because I had too many of the "lame type" of associates in my early 20's. It was also one of the first places I actually ran into an ex with a better looking dude - that rocked. And of course my days of drooling over some of the bouncers...
The new venue off Williston Road - it is just top notch. First of all the bathrooms are always clean and never sketchy and that rocks. It's easy to get to and easy to park. The sound is incredible and there are two different venues in one. More than anything though is how close you can actually get to the music if you so choose. I love seeing nationally touring bands and being able to actually get up close and see (even if it is crowded up there). Personally I prefer the "back bar" where I get rowdy with all of my fabulous friends I have made over the years - all due to our love of music - and get served great drinks by my most favorite bartender from any bar.
2.) The owners actually care about the people. And that rocks. They are accessible, pleasant, and generous. For instance, right now until October 1, you can get five tickets for $50. I usually spend an average of $50 for two tickets! And the list of participating bands is impressive - check out the Higher Ground link for how to purchase.
3.) They are hip and do neat things, like their partnership with JDK, the uber-cool design shop in Burlington. The partnership creates art worthy posters. As stated in the new design book the partnership just published, "Poster design announces an art form that is neither the sole province of the museum nor the rarefied art collector - it belongs to the masses." Certain shows have fantastic posters made and are sold to patrons to keep the music alive in their own spaces. Many of these posters make up the decor of our music room in the farmhouse!
While I sit here romanticizing about Higher Ground, I realize I have tickets to a show tonight and want nothing more than to get off the computer and out the door, so here I go!
And you go - to www.highergroundmusic.com!