From hardcore punk to go-go, the District’s independent music scene has always been lush. A myriad of identities, ideologies and sentiments, artists in the DMV are informed by their proximity to the nation’s capital. With the help of independent venues giving a voice to up-and-coming and under-the-radar talent, artists like April + VISTA, BRNDA and Lightmare are making waves in D.C.’s unparalleled DIY scene. Concert photographer Mike Kim goes backstage with these artists and the venues most meaningful to them.
Both: U Street Music Hall was our favorite music venue because we saw so many of our favorite acts there and were lucky enough to perform there pre-pandemic.
April George: My first concert ever was Kid Cudi in 2009. My sister and I were first in line. I’m showing my age here, ha!
Matt Thompson: When I was around 10 years old, my mom took me to a Creed concert. I heard “One Last Breath” live at Merriweather Post Pavilion and it was never the same.
Both: #1 in cable management
Album you’d bring to a desert island
AG: Probably a guided meditation tape so I can stay calm.
MT: I would bring Radiohead’s “In Rainbows,” but I don’t want to ruin my favorite album. I’m thinking Bear Grylls’ “How to Stay Alive: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Any Situation” would be way more practical in this situation.
Go-to fall activity
Both: We’ve been getting into hiking at Great Falls lately, and that’s been the perfect fall escape for us so far.
Both: We’ve seen some of our favorite acts there and have even played shows on the old basement stage many moons ago. We’re so happy they’ve survived the pandemic and will continue to be not only a place for people to have fun and enjoy music, but also be a safe space for our local music scene to gather and thrive.
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