"tucson underground"
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Top, the ever-gorgeous Wendy (Sparkle Plenty) pours at Vaudeville, Summer 2003. Below, a typical weekend night.

IMAGES Cia Romano 2003



110 East Congress Street
Tucson, AZ 85701

From empty space with eighty-year-old wiring to one of Tucson's most desirable venues -- Vaudeville gets kudos from local musicians for the quality of its sound, lighting and sophisticatedly jaded atmosphere. Fabulously located cheek-by-jowl next to Grill, a good night at Vaudeville spills over to its sidewalk patio crammed to capacity with well-known scenesters. Expect to see some of the scene's most talented people working the stage and working the door.

-Cia Romano, Fall 2003


Regulars include a lot of Tucson's hard-core underground (notably ex-personnel from other downtown hot spots who took refuge here). Even hard-bitten performers appreciate the rotating exhibits of original art on the walls. Video screens are a plus when used by the band to enhance the experience. Bruce, Wendy, Naim and Elizabeth are often seen here.


Open most nights, hosting lots of local music as well as interesting touring acts. Vaudeville is theme-friendly, booking sets that draw everything from cowpunk to electronica. This is a listen-to-the-music club, although we have seen some surreal spontaneous dance expressions (the Jerome Swing?!) in front of the stage as well as impromptu mosh pits. No one but pretentious fools have cause to complain about the bar or beloved bartenders.


Don't overload the guest list, please. Everyone who's anyone gets here eventually, so if you're in the mood to make a fool of yourself, go elsewhere or risk being said fool in full view of the Underground.


Launching with a full renovation of its space (on the same block as Chicago Store, Grill, and Wig-o-Rama), the owners chose a contemporary Nawlins-flavored décor that suits the jaded habituals quite well. .


Not sure but a lot could have happened here in the last hundred years.