Best Performance Space - 2008
The Backroom at the Mink - CLOSED
"Performance space" feels a little highfalutin to describe the Mink's Backroom — it's a venue, plain and simple — except for a couple of points. First of all, there's no stage per se; bands just set up at one end of the rectangular upstairs room. Second, no other place in town programs such an even mixture of DJs and live performers, and the Backroom just happens to be an excellent listening room that can double as a great dance floor. Either way, its warm wood floors both cushion and burnish the sound, giving the impression of a much bigger room; service at the fully-stocked upstairs bar is friendly and efficient; and there are plenty of comfortable chairs in the back if you need to take a load off for a while. Add an adventurous mix of local and national indie-rock, experimental music and underground hip-hop, and maybe it does merit such lofty categorization. Just be warned: At shows like last winter's "Hootenanny" all-covers extravaganza, this "performance space" can get crowded. Extremely.