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Music blares from the inside of a small club as college students fight to get inside for a view of the band up on the stage.
This is Toad’s Place at 300 York Street in New Haven, legendary for its music and its mystique.
“It doesn’t look that impressive, knowing that famous bands have played here. I expected more,” sophomore Ashlee Bennet, 19, said.
“I was not disappointed with the performances, but I was still disappointed with the environment,” she continued.
For Bennet and others, Toad’s atmosphere leaves something to be desired.
The club is smoky and poorly lit, with a maximum occupancy of about 350 people.
However, patrons are always stunned when they find out the talent that has played there.
“It’s amazing to think that this place, a not-so-big bar that has QU students flocking to it like a weekly routine, has played host to nearly every big name in music history, from the Rolling Stones and The Who to Huey Lewis and George Clinton,” Glenn Giangrande, a 2002 graduate of Quinnipiac, said.
Other students agree that the aura of the bar overpowers its small size.
“It’s a good place to go for a small concert,” junior Laura Pront, 20, said. “The mood there is just right. Good bands go there, even though it isn’t a huge venue or anything.”
“I can’t go to the dance parties yet because I’m not 21, but I hear they aren’t bad at all,” Pront said.
Not only do big acts come to this little joint, but local bands are also welcomed.
Toad’s Place often holds college nights, in which musicians from area colleges are invited to perform.
“My band has played there about four times, and I’ve seen countless shows there,” senior David Blanchard, 21, said. “It’s great having a music venue so close to the school,” 21-year old QU senior David Blanchard said.
Bands from the University of New Haven, Yale University and Quinnipiac often perform there.
Quinnipiac sophomore Melissa Parisi, 19, a resident of East Haven, has been to Toad’s Place numerous times.
“I have seen all kinds of acts there, from big names to local bands,” she said. “I love going to Toad’s because it’s close and I know that I’ll have a great time.”
Quinnipiac students may not enjoy its general appearance, but they never deny the powerhouse of music that comes to Toad’s Place.
Sophomore Eric Pearlman, 19, could not agree more.
“The music rocks my face off.”