Come on Feel the IlliNoise -- Alton's New All-Ages Venue, That Is

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Over Memorial Day weekend, I trekked out to Alton, Illinois, to check out IlliNoise, a new all-ages venue in the city. Originally slated to be in Wood River, the venue apparently moved into its space at 554 E. Broadway only eight days before the Saturday I visited.

(Venue is on the far right)
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The building itself was really cool, with plenty of exposed brick in the entire two-story space. (It felt like a former coffeeshop, or cool old house -- since the bathroom had a full shower and everything, I assumed it was a cool old house.) A second floor loft-like area had the bathroom, video games and comfy couches. Light snacks and non-alcoholic drinks were available -- as was free beer, and BBQ on the street.

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Head to the back of the venue, which is where the actual performance space is. As you can see from the picture there, the stage itself is raised, in a large room that felt like a racquetball court; on the not-so-hot night, it was steamy and stifling, and so I hope it gets some ventilation by the time summer truly hits. The venue was non-smoking, though, which helped tremendously.

The sound, well, left something to be desired -- which is to be expected, since the room was full of hard surfaces that cause echoes. But the mere fact that there's another all-ages venue in the metropolitan area providing a space for bands and their young fans to go is a big plus. They've already had national touring act the JonBenet, and upcoming shows include an appearance by Rookie of the Year, so IlliNoise is well on its way to being a viable venue.

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-- Annie Zaleski

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