- The Washington Times - Friday, September 10, 2021

A new concert hall coming to the nation’s capital will be an exact replica of the former 9:30 Club, a small and storied venue that closed more than 25 years ago to reopen nearby, its owner said Friday.

I.M.P. Presents, a concert promotion company that owns and operates the current 9:30 Club in the District of Columbia, confirmed it was creating a replica of the old, intimate venue behind its bigger, current location.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl broke the news on stage Thursday night while his band performed a sold-out show at the club, the first major concert held there since the coronavirus pandemic started in early 2020.

“Who remembers the old 9:30 Club?” asked Mr. Grohl, 52, who grew up in the Washington suburb of Springfield, Virginia. “That was our church.”

Mr. Grohl recalled seeing numerous bands at the former 9:30 Club and performing there himself prior to announcing the plans to recreate the long-shuttered venue.

“Magic happened in that room. But guess what? They’re gonna open up a place that’s an exact replica of the old 9:30 Club right f—ing next door,” Mr. Grohl said.

“So, for all you people who never got to see the old 9:30 Club, you’ll get to see that s— next door someday,” Mr. Grohl continued. “And let me tell you, if it’s the same vibe as the old-school 9:30 Club, you’re going to see some real magic.”

The original 9:30 Club opened in 1980 at 930 F Street NW, less than a mile from the White House, and had a maximum capacity of 199 people. It reopened in 1996 at 815 V Street NW in a space that holds 1,200.

A number of famous groups performed at the first 9:30 Club before making it big, including several Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees such as R.E.M., Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Indeed, Mr. Grohl performed at the old club years before he formed Foo Fighters in 1994. He played there with Scream, a punk group he drummed for as a teen, and then again after he joined grunge band Nirvana in 1990.

Mr. Grohl drummed for Nirvana during a concert at the former 9:30 Club in 1991, eight days after the release of the band’s third record, “Nevermind.” It would go on to sell more than 30 million copies.

The old 9:30 Club also provided a stage for numerous up-and-coming punk bands in the 1980s, including local groups that shaped the genre’s sound including Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Government Issue.

Despite having fond memories of the former 9:30 Club, Mr. Grohl acknowledged it was no palace. But he said he would probably agree to play there, anyway.

“While the new club promises to look just like the original, it will not have the notorious stench nor the huge and plentiful rats that old-school patrons so fondly recall,” I.M.P. said in a statement Friday.

The new venue is set to open in a location formerly occupied by the Satellite Room bar and restaurant. Its name and other details will be announced at a later date, the company said in the statement.

Scream recently announced plans to make the band’s first new record in decades, meanwhile. Pete Stahl, the group’s longtime singer, and Mr. Grohl recently joined in on the recording sessions, WTOP reported Wednesday.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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