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Sacramento Night Life: Ace of Spades

ace of spades

Ace of Spades, the beloved music venue located in the blooming R Street Arts District, is what many locals like myself know as the place to catch some of the best music acts in the area. There is just something about the venue that makes frequenting it easy.

Ace of Spades General Manager, Lisa Barr, is quick to answer what makes the local favorite so special.

“Intimacy,” explains Barr. “You’re never more than 50 feet from the stage…Acts that you would normally have to see in a larger venue, perform and sell out shows at Ace of Spades in a smaller, more intimate setting.”

Imagine if you have been waiting all year to see your favorite artist, and when you arrive you get to see them up close and in a tiny room instead of climbing to your nosebleed seat, squinting as the artist dances on stage in a packed arena.

Since you are able to see crystal clear from all edges of the venue, you also do not have to commit to standing in one spot in the middle of the crowd so as not to lose prime viewing.

In short, the intimacy that Ace of Spades brings connects fans to the musicians on a deeper level.

And it is true, last year Flosstradamus made a pit stop in Sacramento between playing at sold out auditoriums and festival crowds. If you have seen one of their live sets in a large festival setting then I a m sure you’re mind-blown at how a 1000 capacity venue could withstand the mosh pit madness. But it only creates a special experience for fans and musicians alike.

Not only does Ace of Spades provide a unique intimacy that other places can’t, but the venue also focuses on providing good drinks, good food and good acts.

“[Guests have] access to four fully stocked and well-tended bars,” said Barr. “And we have an incredibly diverse range of acts booked on a weekly basis. There’s definitely something for everyone.”

Ace of Spades Co-Founder, Eric Rushing, pointed out some of the prominent acts who have performed in the venue since its opening in 2011.

“Big name artists such as Snoop Dogg, 311, and Twenty One Pilots have graced the stage!” Rushing said with enthusiasm.

The success of the club, which annually makes it in the top 100 of the top 200 clubs in ticket sales worldwide, can be credited in part to Rushing’s decades of experience in the industry, working as a Talent Buyer for 20 years as well as adding to his cap artist management, and owning his own record label and restaurant/bar with fellow co-founder Bret Bair.

In 2016, Rushing and Bair sold Ace of Spades to the popular concert-promotion company Live Nation, but the duo has not ceased their in involvement in venue. Live Nation also operates the multi-location House of Blues, ticketmaster.com, the Fillmore in San Francisco, and Wheatland’s Toyota Amphitheater (formally the Sleep Train Amphitheater).

Raychel Sabbath, who works with Live Nation and as Ace of Spades’ Marketing Manager, makes particular note of Ace of Spades fitting location.

“I love our location because of the R Street Arts District,” said Sabbath. “We have a lot of amazing artists and creative personalities in our neighborhood and it continues to develop every day.”

This month, while Coachella festivities are concurrently in full force, a few of the artists who are playing the festival will also be visiting Ace of Spades between their Coachella performances. Kicking off their summer tours, Oh Wonder and Honne will be playing at Ace of Spades two nights in between weekends April 17 & 18, and Jai Wolf will be playing the following Wednesday, April 19.

So, in other words, the next time you feel like exploring Sacramento’s nightlife in a new way, get your butt down to see a show at Ace of Spades and hit the town in Sacramento’s booming R Street Arts District.

Check out the Ace of Spades’ calendar to see what shows are hitting Sacramento’s Ace of Spades next!


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Address: 1417 R St, Sacramento, CA 95811.
Physical tickets are available at: Dimple / Armadillo Music / Ace of Spades Bar
Photo by Dillon Flowers

About the author

Victoria Kobayashi

Victoria is a music and arts contributor reporting on live events and festivals happening throughout California. She was born and raised in Sacramento and recently graduated from the University of California, Davis, majoring in Design and minoring in Professional Writing. Her hobbies include browsing through fashion blogs, photography, listening to new music, thrift store shopping and going on weekend road trips. She's always down for an adventure and meeting new people.

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