Friday, January 17th marked the opening night of the Federal Underground music venue run by the Knitting Factory. Located in the basement of The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach, the concert hall is a welcomed addition for all Long Beach music fans. The all-ages venue will bring a much needed boost to an entertainment sparse downtown. The transformation of this 1920’s ear bank vault into one of Long Beach’s swankiest looking music venues is sure to attract a great local crowd as well as people from outside of Long Beach, something that has been incredibly hard for local music venues and Pine Avenue businesses to consistently do.
As you enter the Federal Bar a dark and sign-less door to your right will lead you down to the Federal Underground. As you come down red carpeted stairs you get a great overview of the main room with its floor to ceiling red velvet drapes and prohibition-style decor including dark wood everything and crystal chandeliers. The main bar sits at the bottom of the steps and provides a small sound break for those wishing to still be a part of the music yet have a conversation at the bar. As you round the stairs the main stage sits in the corner, flanking the original bank vault that now has a new golden paint job.
For those in the know another set of unmarked doors in the bank vault lead the The Parlor Lounge where you can escape the music for a quieter drink with friends or even host an entirely separate event. The space has continues the prohibition theme with low and comfortable red leather seating and a full bar. The incredible 300 capacity venue, complete with a speakeasy style lounge was inaugurated by the band Dengue Fever this past weekend.
Dengue Fever are a six piece ensemble that combine Cambodian pop music (sung in Khmer) with psychedelic rock. By the sold out fan’s rabid reception we were not surprised to find that singer, Chhom Nimol was singing to a loyal hometown crowd. Nimol was discovered in the nearby Little Phnom Penh area of Long Beach and she seemed to have many friends and family at the show. The band played a high energy set that kept the crowd dancing and singing throughout the night. The venue’s lighting and sound system were both top notch and there’s plenty of space to spread out and grab a drink. It’s an exciting time to be a music fan in Long Beach!
Here is a quick video of Dengue Fever playing to their roots![adrotate banner=”4″]