By Eric Lopez
For students looking for entertainment, The Rebel Lounge is the perfect place to let off a little steam. The venue has just as much energy as any downtown club environment without the pretension that often comes with those places.
Located at 2303 E. Indian School road Phoenix, the bar has been a punk stronghold for decades, but with recent changes it is able to bring in an eclectic range of acts. All sorts of local and touring acts regularly play the Rebel with the punk shows being exceptionally energetic and fun.
There is a cool vibe at the Rebel Lounge. With exposed ceiling beams and concrete walls, it almost feels as if you were in some sort of east coast speakeasy. It is minimal and dark but not stuffy. There is not the overbearing presence of security at this club, and guests do not have to feel like they are being constantly monitored like in some other venues.
The space is intimate and provides barely enough room to maneuver through a busy crowd. The dance floor is also small, but it offers enough space to let loose without disrupting other patrons. Visitors will be pleased to find that the small space makes for a great view of every performing act. The bar extends from the twenty-one-and-up side of the of the club to the underage side for all types of refreshments, and the staff is prompt and polite.
Even headlining acts seem comfortable on the low stage with many lead members encouraging stage rushing and crowd participation. When popular bands perform at the Rebel Lounge, it gets stuffed to the rafters, and some concertgoers even end up hanging from them.
The small green room forces most bands out into the crowd to mingle before and after sets and this somehow works to deliver a fan engagement that larger venues do not. The Rebel Lounge is one of the most affordable places to enjoy live music with drinks starting at three dollars.
This venue is a place to let loose on a weeknight with friendly people, good music and conversation. Plus, there is always a pleasant discomfort in knowing that at any moment you can be swept into a mosh pit or get lost in a crowd of pixilated indie youth looking to escape reality for a bit.
On almost any night of the week, there are live music acts with alternative and indie acts headlining most bills. The best thing about the Rebel Lounge is that most events are all ages. The bar is fenced off from the dance floor during all-ages shows, so young music fans can also have a place to unwind.
The state of the art sound system is remarkable. Vocals are clear and the high end pumping out of the PA is more than sufficient for the space.
The Rebel Lounge can easily be overlooked by passersby, but for those looking to catch some sweet tunes this close space feels like home.
Regulars are often seen mingling with concert goers outside and the surrounding neighborhood has plenty of unrestricted parking. This place stays cool even when its packed to the gills with sweaty excitable teens looking to decompress. Simply put, it is a place to where creativity is valued.