Article by Nick DeMent | Photography by Jennifer Lewis | Owl Staff
There is a semi-local venue that has captured a place in my beating heart. The Fillmore in Maryland is a great place to kick back and relax at the bar or dance your heart out.
Located in Silver Spring, The Fillmore is a little over an hour’s drive away from Bel Air, which for anyone who enjoys a night out is quite a short drive. The venue is fairly priced with many acts about $50 a ticket – ideal for college students who tend to have money going in many directions such as car payments, bills, and food.
The first thing that caught my eye when I walked through the doors of the Fillmore was its size. The only word to describe it is spacey, both in size and atmosphere; the area is large, the air hazy. Nowhere the size for an arena-worthy band like Queen, but also far larger than the smaller venues in Baltimore like the Sidebar, which is the size of a living room.
The building is separated into three floors. The bottom contains a bar (one of three bars, actually) and bathrooms, the middle houses the stage where most of the magic happens (as well as another bar), and the top is a balcony overlooking the stage – great for escaping all the people crowded below (also upstairs is another bar.)
Despite the large area, I didn’t feel much intimacy was lost. A howler monkey screaming at you from 30 feet is scary, but one that is 30 inches away is terrifying.
Although I was in the center of the crowd, I had a clear view of the band. And since the Fillmore has a huge screen behind the stage, I felt as if I was right there in front of them most of the time. This also is, admittedly, because I love Primus and their performance is so captivating.
The frontman, Les Claypool, is a maestro of all things bass, and the guitar work and drumming in between his shenanigans was spectacular. Imagine a glowing space gnome flying down on you, grabbing your attention. Now he shoots you with a vortex gun, sucking you in. This is the combination I felt at the time. The twenty or so feet between was shrunk to feel like twenty inches.
The Fillmore does not limit their events to music, either. While I have seen artists such as Primus, Alanis Morissette, and Between the Buried and Me on their fliers, they also host comedy acts like Adam Sandler.
As far as security goes, they are a fair bunch, allowing all the moshing and crowd surfing one could wish for. I left the place with a satisfied soul and a very strong urge to find this elusive space gnome again. I recommend everyone to find their space gnome experience as well, and for 50 bucks, it doesn’t get much better than this.