Best Rock Club (2002)

The Culture Room

Sometimes, it's hard to profess love for the Culture Room because, well, it's a Fort Lauderdale institution, which usually means a place is tacky. But that's exactly why we love the Room, a '70s throwback that nonetheless hosts a never-ending procession of local and national acts -- more than any other live music venue in the area, come to think of it. The retro point of view manifests itself with a wide assortment of bands from the hard-rock side of the spectrum, but what makes the Culture Room this year's clear winner is its commitment to diversity: Colorado-based hippies the Yonder Mountain String Band paid a recent visit, as did worldly dance sensation the Tom Tom Club, New Wave mascara victims Gene Loves Jezebel, metal refugees Blue Oyster Cult, nearly forgotten rockers Richie Havens and Savoy Brown, local arena-rock hopefuls Big Sky, punk legends the Damned and the Misfits, prodigal son Hank Williams III, one-hit-wonders Modern English, and many, many more -- with nary a cover band in sight. Maybe it's not such a Fort Lauderdale institution, thank goodness.


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