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  • Writer's pictureNathaniel Briggs

An ICO Student’s Review of Bottom Lounge

I’ve returned with another venue review for all my music lovers! This time, I’m taking a trip over to Bottom Lounge, a smaller locale situated in the West Loop relatively close to the United Center. This site was very easy to get to from school; all I had to do was get the Green Line at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT and take it right there.

Before I even get into this, let me point out that I’ve been to 4 different venues since coming to ICO. I wouldn’t exactly say that qualifies me as an expert on the many places to catch a show around this great city, but I’m starting to get a better sample size for comparing my experiences. That said, Bottom Lounge has got to be one of the best spots thus far! Now, let me get into why.

First off, the overall layout of Bottom Lounge is interesting. There is a full-service restaurant as soon as you walk in, completely separate from the concert space. I can’t describe how or why, but it seemed inviting. Sometimes, it’s just one of those things you can feel, ya know? I did not partake in any of the many victuals available, but if you want to peruse their tantalizing food items or extensive drink menu, head over to their website.

Similar to how I felt towards the House of Blues, I think it’s pretty cool you can show up any time to grab a bite, regardless of if you are attending a show or not. This is something novel to me. Most of the concerts I’ve been to only have concession stand fodder like soft pretzels and popcorn. Although I didn’t try any of the food myself, I felt the concept to be a welcome change. This is something I will definitely take advantage of next time I visit!

Some other features include a free shuttle to and from the United Center for every home Blackhawks game, old school pinball machines, a rooftop patio looking towards the Chicago skyline, and an upstairs area with a full bar. They definitely went the whole nine yards, and I haven’t even started talking about the music yet! Speaking of which…

The pit was also appropriately sized for the amount of people in the crowd, so there was no clown car effect once we all left at the night’s conclusion.  As for the cherry on top, the bands put on a killer performance resulting in a great night for this guy!

The way I see it, if you’re going to any place to see an artist you dig, you’re probably already going to enjoy the performance. However, it is the venue’s job to enhance that performance by supplying all the required essentials in addition to any unique flair to aid in that effort. For me, Bottom Lounge definitely succeeded in that regard. They provided an environment to supplement all the crazy, high-energy antics of my fellow concert goers and I. If an act you love rolls on through Chicago to this lovely establishment, go! You won’t be disappointed.


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