Best place to hear local bands/music

Ed Bzomowski fills the marquee outside The Kent Stage. Bzomowski has been a volunteer with The Kent Stage for 11 years. “I do this in all kinds of weather,” Bzomowski said, but he prefers the spring weather. 

Henry Palattella

Winner: The Kent Stage

The Kent Stage is a Kent State staple. First started in 1927 as a silent movie theater, its doors have seen countless acts, some popular, some more obscure.

Whether it be the monthly showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” or one of the numerous visiting acts, chances are The Kent Stage has something for you.

“We do bring in a wide variety of performers that allow us to hit a wide market,” said Richele Charlton, the assistant director of The Kent Stage. “Along with great performances, we also help to develop some economic development in downtown Kent.”

Acts like Leon Redbone, the Avett Brothers and even Machine Gun Kelly have all performed at The Kent Stage, adding to the history of the building.

“It’s a great spot to be,” she said. “I’ve been here since we shut down the theater; it’s been pretty epic.

Not only does the stage allow for people to come and see a show, but it also brings people from out of town to downtown Kent, which benefits other businesses.

“Most people come and stop at a restaurant or shop, which is really nice,” Charlton said.

Second: Venice Cafe (tie)

Venice Cafe is tucked away on West Erie Street, afar from the pandemonium of the other bars in downtown Kent. This sleepy bar brings its own sound to the Kent bar scene, as it’s known for live music. From Jazz Night every Tuesday to shows almost every weekend, Venice Cafe is a music lover’s paradise.

Second: Water Street Tavern (tie)

We all know Water Street Tavern. It’s the place to go to be seen, have a signature drink like a Fishbowl and listen to the latest pop hits pulsating through the speakers. But that’s not all that this busy bar brings to the table. Every Wednesday in June, Water Street offers live jazz. The bar also has live music every Friday night. While it might not have be the best party bar in Kent, it’s a popular place to kick back with a beer and listen to live music.