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The Rock and Roll Hotel celebrates their 7th anniversary next week with shows from Ceremony, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Miyazaki and Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds. While the H Street venue plans for their next 7-years, we’re looking back at all of the excellent shows we’ve attended and photographed. We asked our contributors for some of their favorite shows they’ve covered. Based on the results, it’s more than fair to say BYT <3’s the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Marcus Dowling

I’ve had three moments surrounding the Rock and Roll Hotel that have positively affected my journalistic aspirations. Curiously enough, it was a less than well received BYT review of a Major Lazer and Matt and Kim double billing sponsored by Bacardi at the venue on June 20, 2009 (that I surprisingly enough did NOT attend) led to me writing for the site. None other than Will Eastman vouching for me as a dance music blogger led to Svetlana reaching out to me, and the rest is history.
I think I’ve seen about 20-plus shows at Rock and Roll Hotel in five years. I’ve probably spent as much time in the green room as I have in the crowd, and have actually seen a ton of really underwhelming shows there. Death Grips were particularly terrible, as were Salem as well. The best show I’ve ever seen at Rock and Roll Hotel involved DC favorites Rattler,now Warchild, melting faces with their hardcore-meets-metal presentation. Beer bongs, beer showers, three changes of t-shirts, plus my first and only experience drinking a shot named after a band later, and it was loud, raucous and unforgettable.
Interviewing Mickey Avalon in his tour van with photographer, and fellow Avalon devotee, Shauna Alexander was equally insane. We were both indelibly marked for life by the bad-ass brilliance of Avalon uttering “I think the fucking molly kicked in” before answering a question. His headlining set was tremendous fun, and in many ways showcased to me just how much I’ve changed from 30 (when I discovered the alt-rapper) to 35 (my current age).

Farrah Skeiky

Rock and Roll Hotel is probably the most confusing venue I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. The first show I attended, Cold Cave and Austra in summer 2011, was quite literally a hot mess; everything about the night was sloppy, and not in an endearing way. But it’s become my most frequented venue for many reasons: a fantastic bar staff (with a fantastic drink list to match), a devoted expert sound engineer, amazing booking, and above all, an amorphous room that has never felt the same way twice. It’s a space that can quickly become an endless sea of sweaty, dancing bodies to the most intimate, personal concert space you’ll ever know, and both feel right. Here’s to seven more years of crushing it, Red Rum optional.

A few of Farrah’s favorite Rock and Roll Hotel shows

Class Actress opening for Penguin Prison, May 2012


A Place to Bury Strangers, Hunters, July 2012



Lightning Bolt, August 2012


Katherine Gaines

A few of  Katherine’s favorite Rock and Roll Hotel shows

Semi Precious Weapons, The Dirty Pearls, DJ Starlight, Breedlove, October 2010

(Photo by Katherine Gaines)

Emilie Autumn, February 2011

(Photo by Katherine Gaines)

Austra, Grimes, October 2011

(Photo by Katherine Gaines)

Niki and the Dove, January 2013

(photo by Katherine Gaines)

Shelly Bell

The Red Bull Thre3style Battle, January 2013

There’s only one word to describe the air you breath upon walking into the Rock and Roll hotel…”PARTY.” Covering the 2013 Red Bull DC DJ Battle there was reminiscent of original hip-hop battles in legendary NYC spots that offered intimacy and ass shaking room at the same damn time! At it’s origin hip-hop has always been a huddle of art, listening, and dancing. The stage is the perfect height and length for the DJ to rock and the crowd to feel huddled around the action. I also covered the Red Bull NYC battle and the Philly battle, yet the Rock and Roll Hotel DC was one of the most enjoyable experiences of them all.

Brandon Weight

Air Sex Championship, June 2013

The Air Sex Championships at Rock and Roll Hotel was my first company outing with BYT’s Jenn Tisdale. Fortunately, her boyfriend didn’t mind all too much as I got an intimate look at Scatman and Throbbin’.


Joshua Feldman

One of  Joshua’s favorite Rock and Roll Hotel shows

Santah opening for Savoir Adore, October 2012