Add Ballard's Sunset Tavern to the growing list of Seattle bars opening their doors to the all-ages community. El Corazón, Neumo's, Studio Seven, Chop Suey, and the Crocodile are all known to supply the all-ages action from time to time, and now the Sunset is jumping on the bandwagon, too, with an early all-ages concert this Saturday, September 23.


This isn't the first minor-friendly show at the Sunset. The club tried it back in the spring of 2005, but since the bar had just gotten its liquor license the month before, the venue was still trying to build its reputation as being a liquor-servin' 21-plus hangout, so the timing wasn't quite right. But now booker Kwab Copeland says the Sunset is ready to give it another shot.

"We've been talking about the possibility of doing all-ages shows since I started working there in 2002," he says. "It's been something we have always had to put off while we have developed the club over the years. It's not the easiest thing to do all-ages shows in this town, especially at a place that is known primarily as a 21-plus nightclub... the timing of doing it now is sort of random, I guess, but the bands involved in this first show are fantastic, so y'know, perfect timing!"

The bands are, indeed, fantastic—New York's experimental dance duo USA Is a Monster headlines, with No-Fi Soul Rebellion and Ho-Ag warming things up. The show starts at 6:00 p.m. and costs $6 at the door.

Since the Sunset won't be able to legally serve alcohol (the bar isn't separated from the showroom like it is in other mixed-use venues, so the liquor has to be locked up), the staff is coming up with a variety of tasty alcohol-free drinks that will be made especially for the evening. And if all goes well, this won't be the last time the Sunset opens its doors to minors.

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"I really want to give certain touring and local bands who have a good all-ages following an opportunity to play for both an all-ages and a bar crowd," says Copeland. "We will only be doing this on certain weekends, maybe once a month or so at first, then maybe more depending on how it works out. I just remember being under 21 in Seattle and how limited the opportunities are to see live music. It's improved a whole bunch since then with Vera, the Paradox, etc., and it's been encouraging to see the nightclubs try to do more all-ages stuff. The Sunset is a great place to see shows, so it will be really nice to open up the experience to more people."

After this weekend's show, the next all-ages concert at the Sunset is on October 28 with Say Hi to Your Mom. Check for more information. MEGAN SELING