The Rockford Files: The Gig Spot opens in Gig Harbor

New all-ages venue concentrates on the music

By Rockford Rowley on November 12, 2013

When I began writing for the Weekly Volcano, the title "all-ages music columnist" was bestowed upon me. Many of my installments - particularly toward the beginning - strived to inform our readers about the current state of underage music in the South Sound. In the last year of my Volcano career, though, I've expanded to writing about a variety of musical topics, many of which only partially concern matters directly affecting those of us who still have vertical driver's licenses.

I think it is high time I get back in touch with my roots.

Last month, a new all-ages venue was founded in our area. Not mentioning something this worthy of recognition might lead one to question my sense of duty as the all-ages columnist. 

October marked the opening of The Gig Spot, the first and, so far, only establishment in Gig Harbor dedicated to providing an all-ages space for music. I spoke with founder Regan Balman about the opening of the venue. He spoke about the establishment's desire simply to provide a quality venue for the community and surrounding area. A place that is focused on music - un-muddled by the drinks, darts and other things that distract from the music in a typical bar setting.

"We're not a bar; we don't have big screen TVs playing sporting events ... it's all about the music," Balman said.

The 131-person capacity venue features theatre seating as well as standing room, a great sound system and acoustics, and, of course, it is all ages. The venue has already started with a bang, as the first performance came courtesy of Stephanie Johnson of NBC's The Voice.

Balman, a gigging musician himself from a young age, recognized the need for an all-ages venue in the harbor. Though there are several bars in town that feature live music, they are all plagued with the aforementioned issues associated with live music in bars. I mean sure, bars are great venues, until you get tired of hearing "one of our area's premier cover bands" slog through a Bachman-Turner Overdrive tune for the 10 millionth time.

"It's kind of an experiment in a way, but so far people seem to really like it," Balman continued.

The venue already has a steady booking of shows, the next of which will feature reggae band Aisle Of View Thursday, Nov. 14. The following evening, Nov. 15, will bring Champagne Sunday to the Harbor. This is a band that has been putting on some noteworthy performances around the South Sound - including the Fish Food Benefit Concert earlier this year. You may know Champagne Sunday from my previous pieces on Maurice The Fish Records. And as if the upcoming weekend isn't booked enough, the evening of the 16th will feature "alt-folk Americana string band" The Blackberry Bushes. All of these shows will take place at 8 p.m. at The Gig Spot.

The Gig Spot is available for booking and renting, all of which is done through Regan and Michelle Balman. If your weekend plans are few and far between, I highly recommend heading out to The Gig Spot to support both the bands and this great, promising venue.

THE GIG SPOT, 6615 38th Ave. NW Gig Harbor, 253.853.4188,