CLUB REVIEW : Whisky Once Again a Place of Importance for Bands

More than any other venerable Sunset Strip club, the Whisky has moved adeptly into the '90s.

Not only has it shed its " '80s rock" status for a more alternative music mix--that's simply good business in today's climate--but the famous West Hollywood club has also developed an ability to be unpredictable in a predictable scene. Unlike the nearby Roxy, which always feels like a showcase setting, or the Coconut Teaszer, whose crowd rarely varies, you never know quite what you're gonna get when you step inside the dark, 400-capacity Whisky.

Some nights, the bi-level space is so hot and sweaty that you dread entering. Other times the crowd is so complacent that their drinks seem to be about to slip out of their hands. In recent months, however, the latter scene has been a rare occurrence. As in the past, the Whisky is one of the clubs where you want to see bands perform, and once again it means something to perform on that historic stage.

In a city that tears things down as fast as it can build them, all this is encouraging. In rock 'n' roll years, the Whisky has been around since the beginning of time, and has been the chosen site of nearly every Next Big Thing born out of the city's musical imagination. If the Whisky is thriving, so is L.A.'s creative spirit.

* 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. All ages, cover varies. (310) 652-4202.

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