Located in Irvington, a historic neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis, the Irving hosts a wide variety of events, including open mic nights, craft fairs, theater performances, and attracts some national touring concert acts, especially those in the punk and pop punk genres.
What is unique about the now concert and event venue, is that it is a renovated, former movie theater that just celebrated its 100th birthday.
I have probably seen close to 10 shows at The Irving, and I have never been disappointed. You wouldn’t think it when you first walk in, but the sound and acoustics in the venue are quite good. The stage looks small, but I have seen bands with 5 or 6 members navigate the wooden platform with ease. (Another note on the stage, portions of it are from the original stage at the former Market Square Arena. Legend has it; Elvis Presley has performed on pieces of the stage.)
Recently, I attended a show at the venue, featuring The Story So Far as the headlining band. The Story So Far is an American pop punk band from Walnut Creek, California. You may not have heard of them, but their second studio album, What You Don’t See, debuted at number 46 on the Billboard 200 charts this past March. The band has been growing in popularity since early last year when the alternative music crowd (think Fall Out Boy and Blink-182 fans) caught wind of their guitar riffs and killer vocals.
I have seen The Story So Far perform five times since I became aware of their music several years ago, but this most recent experience at the Irving was in my opinion, their best performance. Perhaps it had to do with the venue, or maybe it was because they have matured as musicians since they first began touring. Either way, the height of the stage at The Irving made it perfect for stage divers to dive back into the crowd. (No, I did not participate in this.)
Indianapolis has never been an “A market” for touring acts, but with the growing positive reputation of the Irving Theater among punk bands, this might change.
After The Story So Far’s show at the venue, the members could not have had more positive things to say about the venue on their social media accounts:
“@JamesWiget Coolest show we've ever played in Indy, some crazy dives. Thanks for comin out!” (Tweet from Parker Cannon, the lead vocalist for The Story So Far)
“@kelenkeller38: That show was as fun as shooting hoops with Reggie Miller on the moon. I dug it. Thanks Indianapolis! #$wishhhhhhhh" (Tweet from Kelen Capener, the bassist for The Story So Far)
“@thestorysofarca: Indy was awesome! What a cool spot. Thanks for the great time, onto Birmingham for tomorrow's show!" (from The Story So Far’s verified band Twitter account, which boasts over 70,000 Twitter followers)
So whether you are looking to have a unique and more intimate concert experience, or simply want to get back to your punk roots for a night, look no further than the Irving Theater, located at Washington Street and Ritter Avenue on Indianapolis’ eastside.