On Tuesday, November 19th, Nova Sun Records was at Red Line Tap scouting a few bands. One of the things that we like to do while scouting is review the venue. Here is what we thought of the Red Line Tap.
The Red Line Tap is located at 7006 N Glenwood Ave in Chicago. It is literally right next to the Red Line El Train. This makes the venue easily accessible to commuters from the city and any one of the Chicago airports.
You could also choose to drive to the venue. There is limited street parking but you may also park in a few designated FREE parking lots located a few blocks away. You may find these parking lots here.
Red Line Tap is basically your typical neighborhood bar in Chicago. Which means the venue is 21 and over. They do card at the door. It is small inside and can hold about 50 people comfortably. You could fit up to about 150 people if you really pack them in there.
Because of its small size, Red Line Tap also houses a really small stage. The stage is comfortable if you are an all string band of only a few members. Trying to get a full band with drums and gear, it may get a little tight.
Load in is through a side alley and has changed within the last few months. It is now a fully enclosed area, that leads behind the stage and has enough room to store gear for 4 bands.
Red Line Tap does supply a house PA system with subwoofers, I did not hear the subwoofers however, monitors, mikes, micstands, cables, and direct boxes. They have enough to mic up your drum’s kick, snare, and overheads, and mic up your amps. However, the PA system as a whole is not the greatest, but it gets the job done for the venues small size. You can see a full list of the equipment here. The only thing I noticed with the sound guy is that once he gets the sound check done, he disappears shortly after the first song starts. This could be a bad thing if your band requires different volume levels from song to song.
They have stage lighting, but it is there solely to light up the stage and are static lights. They are the type of lights that one would by at a home improvement store. If you have your own lighting rig, I would bring it.
Since Red Line Tap is a neighborhood bar in Chicago, the crowd size varies from night to night. Weekends would be the best time to play or on a night with a drink special. The Red Line Tap does provide limited marketing for there shows. They hang a few flyers around town as well as posting the show on their website and a press calender for both print and online sources. However, most of the marketing and promotion for any show at the Red Line Tap will have to be done by the bands and performers.
Since I mentioned drinks, Red Line Tap does offer some fairly decent drink specials on certain days. Specials like $3 PBR Tuesdays. Sunday and Wednesday have by far the best special day. $1 Hamm drafts, $3 well drinks, and $1 Pucker shots. They also have a fairly large selection of beers, domestic, foreign, craft, as well as a large selection of whiskeys.
Red Line Tap is a place that, we at Nova Sun Records, would recommend for those that are new to the music scene and need a place to “get the bugs out.” You would be able to perform in front of people without playing for so many that you will get overwhelmed. If you are interested in playing at the Red Line Tap, their booking information can be found here. They will set you up with like-sounded acts so you don’t have to worry too much about opening for a death metal band if you are an acoustic singer.
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