Though the Meridian has yet to hit its second birthday, it's become the tour-de-force venue for national and international touring acts. Everyone from punk laureate Patti Smith and industrial pioneers Ministry to sought-after DJs like RJD2 and Paul Oakenfold has graced the same gargantuan stage in the lofty Blue Room that can hold around a thousand live-music connoisseurs. When first entering the venue (which requires a little stair-climbing), you're greeted by the loungy Red Room, replete with comfortable and private booths for socializing, as well as a small stage where local bands and lesser-known national acts rock out from time to time. A centralized location, just across the freeway from Toyota Center, and the sound are the Meridian's best qualities. But what really makes the Meridian top-notch are the first-rate acts it continues to bring our way.