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In Bars & Clubs

Reel Big Fish rocks The Rave, Milwaukee's best live music bar, last December. (PHOTO: The Rave)

Milwaukee's best live music bar, 2012: The Rave


"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Hornitos, OR-G, Party Armor, Red Stag, Absolut, Fireball and Malibu – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

The votes are in and the winners have been selected for OnMilwaukee's Best: Bars & Clubs, 2011. Find readers' results in 50 categories, including an editors' pick, in this series of articles that run daily in the Bars and Clubs section of OnMilwaukee.com.

It's finally happened for The Rave. Long one of the best live rock and roll – and hip-hop and techno – venues in town, it's amazingly never won this category in our annual bars poll.

From the main room, to the sprawling Eagles Ballroom above, The Rave Bar and other on-site venues, The Rave complex is a concert mecca in Milwaukee and has been for years.

In the late '80s it was The Omnibus. In the early '80s there were gigs in the President's Room and many of our moms and grandmas even danced to big bands up in the Ballroom.

We love The Rave, too, here at OnMilwaukee.com, but in the interest of sharing the love, we've selected the much more intimate Cactus Club, which has been bringing great underground bands to Bay View for 15 years.

The Cactus came in a close second in our readers' poll.

OnMilwaukee.com editors' pick: Cactus Club

Runners-up:

2. Cactus Club
3. Milwaukee Ale House
4. The Jazz Estate
5. Shank Hall
6. The Up & Under
7. Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall
8. Mo's Irish Pub
9. Club Garibaldi
10. Bad Genie Rock Lounge
11. The Mad Planet
12. Linneman's Riverwest Inn
13. BBC
14. Frank's Power Plant


Talkbacks

danno | Feb. 16, 2012 at 1:58 p.m. (report)

Didn't know about "Lo-Cash". Keep striving on the BBQ! I wouldn't mind a small cover if the live music is good. Hope to get there soon.

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LoCash_Live | Feb. 15, 2012 at 7:54 p.m. (report)

LoCash Live supports all local musicians and never a cover. Check us out and maybe we'll make the list next year, congrats to those who did. JC

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remedy | Feb. 13, 2012 at 8:06 p.m. (report)

I was just here a few weeks ago even though I vowed to never return again. My ticket was actually free through a friend, not their typical scam or I wouldn't have gone. Same terrible sound, ridiculous beer prices and I actually think I got herpes by using the restrooms.

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alwaysrocking | Feb. 13, 2012 at 2:41 p.m. (report)

There 2 drink minum coupons are great. From about $22.00-$28.00 you get into a show and get a couple of drinks. Seems like a good deal to me. The sound is better in the Rave itself then up in the ballroom. Get on there mailing list and you'll usually get 2 for 1 drink tickets or 2 for 1 admission. Plus they continually are putting money back into the venue. If anyone remembers how it looked 20 years ago compared to now. Its night and day, it was a real dump when it was the omnibus. It isn't perfect, But it certianly isnt as bad as what you posters have made it out to be. Plus I will guarantee you without the rave many bands would simply skip Milwaukee!

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rnzh102 | Feb. 13, 2012 at 2:39 p.m. (report)

How can you blame the people asking the question because you don't like the answer? Trust me, I hate the Rave too but I'm not going to bash the place that adds up the votes. Maybe try some constructive comments instead. My advice would be to separate "Best Live Music Venues" and "Best Live Music Bars" since The Rave, Turner Hall, Shank Hall etc are not the same as BBC, Linnemans, The Up and Under, Bay View Brew Hous etc.

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