This gallery started with a peek into the Torch Club’s “green” room, located down a few stairs back behind the stage and hidden from public view. Between sets at a Ray Copeland Band show, I caught singer Marilyn Woods on a piano bench looking at some video and I snapped a couple of photos before going back out to the bar area.
The room was littered with instruments and other tools of the music trade, and adorned with posters and playbills of artists and shows that graced the Torch’s stage over the years, many of which I had attended (Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, anyone?). I instantly felt a new historic sense of the place, even though I’ve been going to the Torch since its original location at 8th and L streets, and I’ve been seeing shows at the current site for years.
I also started thinking about all of the other Sacramento music venues in Midtown, downtown East Sacramento, Oak Park and elsewhere — both old and new — and what unique aspects they might possess. Could I find another Torch green room?
My search brought me to 11 venues over the past several months. I didn’t get to every venue and some, like Old Ironsides, the Crest and the Torch Club, I’ve been to on numerous occasions. Others, however, like Holy Diver, Cafe Colonial and a refurbished Goldfield Trading Post, I was experiencing for the first time.
From the ornate ceilings of the timeless Crest Theater; the poster-lined walls at Holy Diver and the Torch Club, to the bare-bones coziness of the Cafe Colonial on Stockton Boulevard and the Blue Lamp, a former strip joint on Alhambra Boulevard, Sacramento is awash in music and places to see it performed live.
This gallery is just a sample of Sacramento’s vibrant and diverse musical venues waiting to be explored.