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The Forum is the world's top concert venue? Really?




The folks at the St. Pete Times Forum are all aflutter today because of the news that the music-business mag Venues Today named the Forum the world's top concert venue in 2009.

They're basing the ranking purely on revenue, of course, which makes sense, given the stupendiculous week of shows the Forum had during Super Bowl week (Celine Dion, the Eagles, above, and Dane Cook). When you're talking about a pure concert-going experience, however, that's a different topic entirely. Don't know about you, but I've been to some shows at the Forum where the acoustics were just horrendous (ahem, My Chemical Romance, ahem). Here, for my money, are the five best concert venues in Tampa Bay:

1. Tampa Theatre: Impeccable atmosphere. Exquisite acoustics. Quality performers. Honestly, if you could pick any local venue in which to see your favorite artist, wouldn't it be this one?

2. Jannus Landing: An obvious choice, but where else are you going to get so close to such otherworldly artists? If you caught the Flaming Lips at Jannus a couple of years ago, you know what I'm talking about.

3. Crowbar: Great sound, great stage, great patio, great artists.

4. Ruth Eckerd Hall: Yeah, I like Ruth Eckerd Hall. What of it? The atmosphere can get a little staid, but, I can't complain about the sightlines or acoustics. It's my favorite of all the area's larger venues.

5. Skipper's Smokehouse: Catch the right artist on the right night and there's no better place to see a show. Catch the wrong artist on the wrong night, and ... well, it's still pretty good.

Disagree? Argue amongst yourselves in the comments.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt* staff writer; photo by Luis Santana, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 4:15pm]


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