I’ve always thought that The Blue Lamp is slightly underrated in the local music community. Sure, it’s dark inside, a little grimy (we’ve heard rumors it used to be a strip club back in the day) and it’s sort of on the fringe of Midtown (located at 1400 Alhambra, Sacramento), but man, I’ve seen countless amazing shows there over the years! Everything from face-melting stoner metal from High on Fire, to the hippest garage rock of Black Lips, to the intimate croonings of singer/songwriter Jonah Matranga, as well as tons of good hip-hop (something a lot of local venues shy away from) and great local rock bands, too (past Rock for Tots shows come to mind). Hell, I personally have played Blue Lamp with multiple different bands and it’s always a great time. Why all this talk about Blue Lamp, you ask? Well, it’s got new owners. On Oct. 31, 2013, longtime owners and brothers James and Ed Stoner sold Blue Lamp to Gabriell and Ben Garcia. Gabi has spent years managing and bartending just down the street at Limelight and Ben spent years singing in Sacto hardcore band Hoods and playing in other groups. Ben’s now got a day job but will assist with booking and band hospitality, Gabi will help run the bar and do the books and they’ve also brought in Shonda Honkanen to assist with booking. They’re all cool, down to earth, smart, and totally dedicated to making Sacramento even more rad by continuing to host a range of touring and local music. “It is important to us to bring all types of live music to Sacramento,” Gabi recently told Submerge. “Last night we had southern rock and country and tonight punk rock. We want to keep it fresh and allow all people to enjoy our venue.” Some possible renovations are in the works, depending on what the city’s planning department will let them do: A patio in front and back, updated bathrooms, and they might even try and replace a window, “So light will once again shine in.
“It really energizes us,” she said of owning their own venue. “We love seeing all the different people the bands bring. We would really love to bring that neighborhood bar feel to the Blue Lamp as well as keep with the live music tradition.” The bar is now open daily from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Check out their new website for show listings at Bluelampsacramento.com or just turn to our music calendar.