It's not a bar. It's not a club. It's not a conventional concert hall, either. You won't see Dave Matthews or Madonna play here. But you will see great indie bands like Broken Social Scene, Asobi Seksu, Rogue Wave, Boris, Elf Power, and other awesome under-the-mainstream-radar-but-still-not-quite-obscure bands. It's BottleTree, a unique venue where the traditional snore-bore decor is traded for kitsch and glitter.
This place is located on 3th Ave. South in downtown Birmingham, just a block or so away from Hancock Fabrics. It hasn’t been open for very long at all, and in fact, they don’t even have their liquor license yet (hopefully, this will change very soon), so it’s still BYOB. Tickets are cheap (typically $10-$12 each) and you can buy ‘em at the door or online. The people that run this place are great, and you can tell that they’re really into all of the bands that come through the doors. Which is another thing--I am amazed at how this brand new venue has managed to get such impressive acts (many of which have never been to Birmingham before), especially considering that--let’s face it--Birmingham has never been a great city for indie shows.
Parking isn’t an issue, as they have a parking lot next to the building (a rare thing downtown). I suggest showing up a little early to ensure a space. Parking is free! Hopefully it’ll stay that way.
Inside, there is a Central-Perk-esque area clad with comfy sofas and chairs in which to sit in case you wear yourself out dancing like a sugar-crazed maniac. Tons of music-related magazines to read. Fun! It’s great just to sit and take in the atmosphere--whether it be to gaze at the glitter-covered mounted deer (which I usually hate, but, come on, it’s covered in glitter!) or to watch Pee-Wee’s Playhouse playing on the giant screen and/or small TVs hanging from the ceiling. There’s a great deck area on the side to go our and smoke or just to take a break from all the noise. But why would you do a think like that? The sound is great, and the stage is a bit small but they make do. There is a cute little bar (where they will hand you the chilled beer you brought, just until they get their liquor license) with comfy stools to sit in and watch the show, or you can be non-lazy and get up next to the stage.
I adore this place. I’m planning on becoming a regular here, because they have great bands basically every day. In fact, I love this place so much that if I could, I would marry it. I know that’s what Pee-Wee would tell me to do.