Turns out Lupo's at the Strand was a good decision after all. I hadn't been there in a long time, but after the Creek show this past Friday night, I gotta say, it's a great live music venue. They've sucessfully taken a historic theater and converted it to a great atmosphere. It has a great, clubby feeling but without the stuffy, claustrophobic grip that old Lupo's could never seem to shake. The high ceiling over the dancefloor goes a long, long way toward that end.
I remember going to shows at the Strand back in high school, and I know that I never appreciated the history of the place. Then it turned into a crappy nightclub (complete with go-go dancers) and stopped booking bands before merging with Lupo's to share Friday and Saturday nights. Lupo's shows would have to end by 10:30 and everyone had to get the hell out so that they could then open the doors to a top-40 style dance club. It was horrifying. But I guess that's not working out anymore, because Lupo's seems to have free reign of the place now. And that's good news. The go-go cages are gone, the bar areas in the back are opened up nicely.
It now reminds me more of the music hall at the House of Blues in Boston, only the Strand has an almost austere feeling to it, where you can look around and really get the converted theater feeling. Plus it's more intimate, which is always a good thing. Bravo.