Reggies: Two Stages, One Diverse Party
On the easternmost edge of Chinatown, Reggies attracts music fans of every stripe with punk, heavy metal, and hip-hop concerts.
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John Zorn is taking his mad musical experiment, Bladerunner, to the US. May he succeed where Da Vinci, Tesla, and Sir Isaac Newton failed.
John Zorn's Bladerunner plays the Rock Club on Saturday, May 3.
Reggies is cramped. It’s dark. It’s loud. In other words, it’s paradise. With a distinctly unspecialized schedule and a passion for all things rowdy, the club is a musical DMZ where fans of everything from blues to hip-hop and local punk can sit down for a beer together. The diversity comes easy thanks to the venue’s two stages.
If you’re looking for a blues ballad and a stiff drink to catch your tears, your best bet is Reggies’ Music Joint. Done up like an old-fashioned roadhouse—complete with cafeteria seating and a stage so close you could pass out on it—the Music Joint tends to attract more laid-back patrons and musicians. You’ll see a lot of one-man, one-guitar acts, some chilled-out funk bands, and more than a few dreadlocked bass players on sporadically scheduled Reggae Mondays.
Next door, Reggies’ Rock Club is an entirely different animal. Industrial metal, blistering punk, and beer-soaked bar rock rule the matte-black stage, which sits on a gently angled slope so that even moshers in the back get a clear view. The Rock Club also plays home to up-and-coming Chicago rappers, as well as alternative hip-hop stars like Del the Funky Homosapien.
But if all you know about Reggies are the stages, you’re missing out. The bar keeps more than 70 craft beers in stock, while the kitchen whips up hearty pub food such as fried pickles, burgers, and macaroni and cheese. And upstairs, an onsite record store awaits eager crate-diggers, brimming with vintage 45s and claiming to have the largest CD collection in the city.
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Photo of Reggies: Al Zayed