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Today’s the day: D.C. fully reopens. Bars, large venues, and nightclubs can welcome back patrons without any capacity limits. That means concerts and clubbing are back across the District.
These venues were the first to close during the coronavirus pandemic and are the last to reopen. Some of these spots were welcoming customers. But per government rules at the time, patrons had to be seated, so we’d hardly consider that open. Nowadays, expect more venues to look a lot like the Before Times.
This doesn’t mean live entertainment is back everywhere immediately, though. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s decision to reopen businesses across the city was only announced one month ago. Reopening is a process, plus lots of musicians have only planned tours for the fall and winter, so many venues won’t have shows this weekend. Black Cat’s first dance party is on July 17, with its first concert on July 24. The Anthem’s first is August 7. The Warner Theatre’s first non-rescheduled event is listed for Aug. 11. Capital One Arena’s first listed show is for Aug. 31 (but after that it’s Harry Styles, Celine Dion, Tame Impala and more through the fall). Some spots like The Dew Drop Inn are taking it slow and not ready to host live music just yet, while others like Comet Ping Pong have started scheduling shows and are already sold out this whole month.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the live entertainment—concerts, karaoke, dancing, etc.—you can attend this reopening weekend. Reopening coincides with Pride, so there is so much to celebrate. We’ve listed free and ticketed events, so read the fine print. If you’re not committed enough to the live music scene to head out in the rain tonight, there are also suggestions for tomorrow, Sunday, and beyond. Make sure to follow individual businesses’ rules about masking, and if you’re not fully vaccinated yet, maybe hold off on celebrating until you are.
LIVE MUSIC AND CONCERTS
Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Blues Alley’s first available hybrid show—with both physical tickets and streaming passes available—is on June 21 and features a celebration of Aaron Myers’ Pride Album.
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE
The club’s grand reopening this weekend is a double-header for Russian-German DJ Zedd, who will be playing shows June 11 and 12. The week after, David Guetta’s booked to play on June 17—a Thursday night, but maybe worth it!
Frank O. Agbro’s front porch, 1700 block of Kilbourne Place NW
The “Mayor of Mount Pleasant” hosts live music and entertainment from his front porch. Every Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., Frank O. Agbro hosts the “Children’s Hour,” where families of the neighborhood gather to listen to him and other local musicians perform. “Children’s Hour” offers free breakfast courtesy of Purple Patch, a nearby Filipino restaurant. Every other Saturday afternoon, Agbro hosts “6ft. Aparty”—an open mic for musicians—and every other Wednesday, he hosts piano night. The next 6ft. Aparty is June 26, between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the next piano night is June 23, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
The storied jazz bar is bringing back its nightly entertainment as soon as the restrictions lift, according to its website; expect a Pride party on June 12.
Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW
PSW, which was part of the mayor’s pilot program to bring back live entertainment last fall, is kicking off the first weekend back with shows June 11, 12, and 13 featuring LatinBluesFunk, Rock Creek Kings, and Dionysus.
Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St. NW
If you’re not quite ready to be indoors with a bunch of others yet, Rhizome has a slate of outdoor concerts on June 12, 13, and 14 featuring solo sets and bands; the 13th’s live show closes out its Queering Sound exhibition.
Soundcheck DC, 1420 K St. NW
Soundcheck is ringing in the rest of the year with a show featuring house musician Green Velvet on June 11.
The Pocket, 1508 North Capitol St. NW
7DrumCity’s The Pocket will kick off its shows with performances from KBT Trio (“experimental/electronic/live percussion”) on June 11 and Sheila (“melodic/indie/punk”) on June 12. Stay tuned for sets on the weekends through the end of June.
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW
The Hamilton, which was also part of D.C.’s live entertainment pilot program, has been hosting virtual and hybrid shows through the spring. Its June 11 concert featuring Amy Helm is sold out, but you can still catch a $20 ticket to see Jonathan Sloane on June 12.
Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW
Union Stage’s triumphant return includes two shows by D.C.’s favorite ‘90s cover band White Ford Bronco on June 11 and 12.
Bossa Bistro + Lounge, 2463 18th St. NW
Get ready to salsa! The Adams Morgan club that serves Brazilian tapas is a mainstay of local salsa dancing. They offer anything from Latin-focused DJ sets to full on swing bands. The inaugural show features Rafael Pondé, who will perform Brazilian samba classics from all eras.
DC9, 1940 9th St. NW
Clubbing is back, as is the tri level watering hole. Because the concert floor remained dormant all pandemic, DC9 is welcoming back patrons to party like they just turned 21. The club is hosting “Lost Birthday Club” starting June 11 through July 3 every Friday and Saturday night for all those who had uncelebrated birthdays the last 15 months.
Green Zone, 2226 18th St NW
The Middle Eastern cocktail bar is bringing back DJs. Friday nights with DJ Remi return on June 11. Get ready to dabke.
Flash, 645 Florida Ave NW
Expect DJ sets on DJ sets on DJ sets. Tickets are sold out opening night, but there is still a chance to dance the night away at this Shaw nightclub this weekend.
Showtime, 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW
There’ll be a post-Dyke March hangout on June 11 featuring Les the DJ and DJ Laura Lopez. No Granny & the Boys just yet, but the bar says on Twitter it’s hoping they’ll be playing soon.
Trade, 1410 14th St. NW
Celebrate with Pride at one of D.C.’s gay clubs. DJ Ed Bailey returns to the pulpit Friday and Saturday nights.
The Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW
The second floor is open so that means live DJs and a sweaty good time. Don’t be fooled by the neighborhood bar charm. Wonderland Ballroom is technically a nightclub, so expect nonstop dancing from 20-something year olds until 3 a.m. beginning this weekend.
Haydee’s Restaurant, 3102 Mount Pleasant St. NW
Saturday night karaoke is back. The Salvadoran restaurant lets guests select any song of their choice so they can sing their heart out. As the night progresses, everyone’s mostly singing in Spanish.
Muzette, 2305 18th St. NW
Nervous about performing in front of strangers? Anyone interested in booking a private room for themselves and their guests can at this Korean restaurant starting June 11.
Shaw’s Tavern Piano Bar, 520 Florida Ave. NW
Karaoke returned to this local gastropub this week. Now every Wednesday night, patrons can sing a song of their choice at the piano or use the karaoke machine.
Wok and Roll, 604 H St. NW
Wok and Roll has Pride Month events all month, per Facebook, complete with rainbow shooters; go nuts belting out your favorite gay icon’s tracks, whether that’s Gaga or Ani DiFranco.
Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW
The rain means the KenCen’s programming on the REACH Plaza is canceled today (and was yesterday, too), but on June 12, if the weather holds, there’s going to be an art market, movement classes, DJ sets and The String Queens.
Shakespeare Theatre, 610 F St. NW
Although Sidney Harman Hall is now free of mayor-imposed capacity limits (they were previously operating under a waiver from HSEMA), STC is keeping capacity for Blindness at 40 people because the show is “is designed to offer an immersive, intimate experience.” Today’s show is sold out, but at press time, there were still tickets available for Sunday.
GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW
With lifted capacity limits, GALA will be seating patrons three feet (every third seat) instead of six feet (every fifth seat) apart for Ella es Tango. There are performances this weekend, but if you wait until a Wednesday, there’s tango dancing after the show.
—Amanda Michelle Gomez and Emma Sarappo (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
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