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Orange Peel one of five best, magazine says




This photo provided by the Orange Peel shows the inside of the Asheville, N.C., club that was chosen among the best music clubs in the nation by Rolling Stone magazine.

This photo provided by the Orange Peel shows the inside of the Asheville, N.C., club that was chosen among the best music clubs in the nation by Rolling Stone magazine.

Rolling Stone magazine has told the rest of the nation what music fans from this region have known for some time – that the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina is one of the best concert venues in the United States.

In its May 1 “Best of Rock 2008” issue, Rolling Stone placed the Orange Peel (capacity 942) at the top of its list of the country’s five “Best Rock Clubs.”

“In the Seventies, the Orange Peel was a premier funk-and-soul club,” the magazine’s editors wrote. “Since it reopened five years ago, Bob Dylan and Smashing Pumpkins (who picked the spot for their nineshow reunion run last year) have gone out of the way to play the Peel – drawn by Asheville’s bohemian vibe and attentive crowds.”

Other big-name shows hosted by the club include concerts by Ben Harper and the Indigo Girls. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lou Reed performed at the Orange Peel on April 29.

In addition to the Orange Peel, the other top venues were: the Bowery Ballroom in New York City (capacity 550); the Magic Stick in Detroit (capacity 550); Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas (capacity 2,200), and the Norva in Norfolk, Va. (capacity 1,500).

“It’s a big honor,” club spokesmanwoman Liz Whalen told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “It’s amazing. I think (the club’s momentum) has built on itself over the years.”

The Citizen-Times said the news also came as a pleasant surprise to Knoxville-based promoter Ashley Capps, who promotes the annual Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tenn., and has booked shows into The Orange Peel since it opened in 2002.

“That’s awesome,” said Capps. “We have always been excited about The Orange Peel since the beginning. It is a place that is just right. It’s a great experience for the artists and a great experience for the audience. It really is one of the finest music venues in America.”

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