ALL about… Kent’s backstage pass

Local venues that help students relax and rock out


Credit: Jason Hall


200 S. Depeyster St.

Barcode Nightclub might be in the same building that once held Screwie Louie’s, but that is where the similarities end.

“We’re brand new owners and coming in there with a new concept,” said Mike Beder, co-owner of Barcode. “We wanted the name to fit our concept, and what Screwie Louie’s was all about didn’t really have anything to do with we wanted to do.”

Barcode Nightclub is a dance club that has a VIP and Hookah Lounge, as well as a game room. It is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The club is open to anyone age 18 and up, except the VIP Lounge, which is 21 and over to get in. There is a cover charge, which varies, and a dress code that is described as “Casual Chic” on the nightclub’s Web site,

“We wanted to make it a more up-scale social atmosphere,” Beder said.

On Wednesday nights, Barcode Nightclub has live-band Karaoke, Thursday and Saturday night it has dance party nights that feature local DJs, and Friday nights, the club has live performances of all different genres of music. Upcoming performances include world-renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold on October 7 and acoustic rockers 2 Skinny Dorks in December.

Contact ALL correspondent Gabe Gott at [email protected].

The Kent Stage

175 E. Main St.

For anyone under the age of 21, it can be struggle to find venues in the area that are all ages. The Kent Stage is the perfect solution to the underage dilemma. Many different musical groups perform at The Kent Stage, varying from blues to folk music. Previous bands that have graced the Kent Stage in the past include a Beatles cover band, India Arie, Lisa Loeb, Tony Rice and former Men at Work lead singer Colin Haye.

All shows start at 8 p.m., and the doors open one hour before the performance time. Tickets are available at Spin-More Records, Woodsy’s Music, online at or by calling (330) 677-5005. If you’re not the type to plan ahead, tickets are also available at the door.

Upcoming concerts include old-time string, Irish fiddle, rock, and folk music band The Duhks on Sept. 8, popular oldies folk group Kingston Trio on Sept. 16 and jam band JiMiller Band on Sept. 22, to name a few.

Contact ALL correspondent Alicia Boulton at [email protected].


252 N. Water St.

The Electric Cafe Company, located at 252 N. Water St. in downtown Kent, has an eclectic mix of live music for those who are into more artsy fare. Known as the ECC, the club features live independent music spanning many genres from punk rock to electronic music. Live DJs are featured on a regular basis. But the club caters to a select crowd.

The ECC only books independent, underground, do-it-yourself bands and its crowd is a reflection of the music. The ECC recently obtained a liquor license and carries a fully stocked bar with a variety of beers and booze.

Shows are usually all ages and, of course, it is 21 to drink. The ECC also is a supporter of groups such as Project Sound and the community-minded Kent State Anti-War Committee, whom they have held benefits for in the past.

For more information on the ECC and bookings, visit

Contact ALL reporter Ben Plassard at [email protected].

Club Khameleon

626 N. Water St.

Club Khameleon has been on the Kent State scene since 2003, and this year it might finally reach the notoriety it’s been looking for.

Owner/manager Brent Fabry said its motto is “advancing local music,” and it rings true with about 20 bands playing there in one week. Usually anywhere from three to six bands will play a night. The club doesn’t offer only one type of music; instead, it books bands from any genre to stay true to the chameleon’s morphing spirit.

“We change colors,” Fabry said. “It’s worth the walk down the street.”

The club also offers karaoke every Wednesday, open mic nights on Mondays and – new this year – on Sundays it will be open to show Cleveland Browns games on its new big-screen television.

The upcoming concert calendar includes local favorites American Rockstar, Minor Setback and Unicron. It caters to crowds 18 and up, with no cover charge before 9 p.m.

Contact ALL correspondent Madelyn Otcasek at [email protected].

The Outpost

4962 state Route 43

Sitting proudly on state Route 43, The Outpost has been providing Kent with enough alcohol and entertainment to keep scores of college students happy since 1970 – a tradition that continues today.

Set in a relaxing atmosphere with wooden bars and dart boards, The Outpost represents a great place to relax with friends and a cool refreshing alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverage on nights without a band and a place to jam to your favorite songs when the entertainment shows up.

All shows and events are for those 21 and over, so make sure to bring your I.D.

Since 1992, The Outpost has been known for booking a wide variety of rock bands.

Upcoming performances include college rock band Oval Opus Sept. 15, singer/songwriter Anne E. Dechant Sept. 22 as well as other performances from bands such as the Steve Cipriano Band and Outlaw.

Contact ALL correspondent Robert Taylor at [email protected].