THE TOP STAGES I’VE BEEN ABLE TO PLAY
I’ve had the opportunity to tour with different bands and get a huge array of experiences. From staying in towns I’ve never heard of, to learning about new cultures, to playing some incredible venues, all of the miles driven, gear stolen and hours practiced are well worth it.
Here’s a list of my top 10 venues I’ve personally played (in no particular order)
1. THE WHISKEY A GO GO (HOLLYWOOD, CA)
Arguably the most iconic venue on the Hollywood strip, I was able to play The Whiskey when I was just a teenager with my band at the time, Bloodshot. It was an experience of a lifetime but I remember the bouncers just throwing my gear out of the side door right after we played, and having to tear down on the busy sidewalk while my cases were in the green room. It was worth it, though!
2. THE ROXY (HOLLYWOOD, CA)
In keeping with the Hollywood theme, another venue I had the privilege of playing multiple times is the Roxy. This is one of my favorite venues in Los Angeles due to the sheer fact that I grew up seeing some of my favorite bands here, then getting to play the stage multiple times in multiple bands was a blast. One of the bands I played this venue with was Down For the Count. Nothing but good times here!
3. ROSE WAGNER THEATER (SALT LAKE CITY, UT)
In almost a 180 degree turn from the Hollywood venues, playing The Rose Wagner Theater in Utah was incredible. Talk about a prestigious, professional venue! This venue is a performing arts center and typically used for plays and other fancy, talented things. I was able to play here with my church, Ekklesia Salt Lake City
4. THE KNITTING FACTORY (HOLLYWOOD, CA)
Ok, let’s go back to the grungy Hollywood scene for a bit (which has a special place in my heart). The Knitting Factory was definitely my favorite venue in Hollywood - it is now no longer open :( but I had MANY a good time there. I played with my high school band Bloodshot here a few times. I also saw a ton of incredible bands here, and even delivered a drum kit I had made for Jon from A Change of Pace here and he played it at their show. Great times.
5. THE VENTURA THEATER (VENTURA, CA)
I love Ventura. It’s where I was born and also where I went to a lot of shows at venues like Skate Street and Ventura Theater. I played with my band Loveless here and it was an absolutely blast - I remember us feeling like rock stars after. I’ve also seen bands like Thrice, My Chemical Romance, Yellowcard, Darkest Hour, Strung Out, Gatsby’s American Dream - pretty much all of my favorite bands here. This venue felt more “local” to me than the Hollywood venues and is right by the beach, so you know it’s a special one.
6. THE SOCIAL (ORLANDO, FL)
Florida! The Social was so fun to play (and headline) and I absolutely loved downtown. I played here in the summertime so it was ridiculously hot, but the folks were so welcoming. Definitely felt the southern hospitality. I played here with the pop punk band Down For The Count. Fun fact: I ended up marrying a guy from Orlando. Not related to me playing there at the time, but still a coincidence!
7. KILBY COURT (SALT LAKE CITY, UT)
Did you ever have a friend who lived in a fancy area who had a community pool? Did said friend ever have a birthday party in the poolhouse? If you know what I’m talking about, you know exactly what Kilby Court looks like. It’s like a poolhouse, without the pool. A tiny venue, but honestly some of the best times. So many bands got their start here, including Death Cab for Cutie. I played here with Down For The Count and Swans of Never.
8. WARPED TOUR (VENTURA, CA)
Ok ok, I know I talked about Ventura already, but this is known as the best Warped Tour date because of the California climate and that it’s right by the beach! Seriously, nothing but good times at this venue, especially on Warped Tour. It’s fun to walk backstage and pass by your heroes and try to play it cool. I played here with Down For The Count.
9. WARPED TOUR (SAN ANTONIO, TX)
To be honest, most of Warped Tour was quite the blur, but one of the more memorable dates was when we as Down For The Count played San Antonio, TX. We got to rock an acoustic set too and I just remember the fans being super pumped! It totally made those long drives through Texas worth it.
10. EVERY HOUSE PARTY, PEAR FIELD, PARK, OR IMPROMPTU SET (LITERALLY ALL OVER THE US)
Ok, all of these venues are cool and all, but I say NOTHING beats those “random” shows. You know, the ones in high school when someone’s parents are out of town and you play a set at midnight and get the cops called on you, or when you play an off day in someone’s backyard (once it happened to be a pear field in Ukiah - talk about wild!), or a random bar, or a park, etc. YOU GET IT! Nothing beats the people you meet and the memories you get the remember through music.
HI, I’M LIZ APONTE
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