The Independent - Music Venues - 628 Divisadero St, Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA

The Independent   - Music Venues - 628 Divisadero St, Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA

The Independent is easily my favorite music venue in San Francisco due to many factors that I'll explain below. Before we get into that, it's important to note that this review isn't for any band I've seen there but, for the venue/management itself. Situated on one of my favorite blocks in San Francisco, this music venue never disappoints. I've probably seen 100 shows here in the decade I've lived in San Francisco and most recently the band "Steel Pulse", and they have all been very well produced.  My favorite part of this venue is probably the quality of sound and the intimate setting (holds around 800 people). It's just an awesome experience every time. The bar situated in the back rarely has a line and they have a great selection of beers, booze, etc. to get the mood feelin right! If the bar at the Independent isn't your thing, there are plenty of amazing restaurants/bars within walking distance, so you can always pregame at a great watering hole nearby. I would recommend Bar 821 for those of you who want a craft cocktail. Anyway, I'll keep this breif because I think you get the point. Thanks Independent and keep rockin!

Steel pulse. Steel pulse. 8/24/2016

Came here last night to see Guided by Voices (winning tickets never hurts) and had a great time.  The venue is nice, the bar moved quickly and most important, the sound was pretty excellent regardless or where we were standing.The visual production didn't blow me away but I'm sure this was more of a product of the band that we saw and not the venue itself.  It's located in a cool neighborhood and is dangerously close to 4505 Burgers & BBQ so if you're doing it right, you'll find yourself eating the best damn cheeseburger and drinking a lone star before the show.4.5/5


I had a great time at The Independent this past Tuesday night watching Lion Babe!  We got in just as the line was shuffling through the door.  Most people headed straight to the front of the stage or milled about the cozy venue.  This was a perfect opportunity for us to grab prime seats around the side walls.  They look like tables, but they're really benches for relatively comfy seating.  We enjoyed an unobstructed view of Jillian, the hot girl of Lion Babe, who has the swagger of Beyonce and the voice of Erykah Badu.    I liked that there were waitresses navigating the crowds, taking orders and bringing drinks to the patrons, so that people didn't have to walk to the back of the bar and risk losing their spot.  I also liked that the bathrooms were in the front, past the stage, so I can rush to pee pee and not miss much.I hope that The Independent will have more enjoyable acts to come!  Our tickets were only $20, which was a steal!!!


Awesome live music venue in San Fran! Taken here by my bandmate's father to see an R&B/Soul artist and it was PACKED! Waited in line for twenty minutes before getting inside and it was well worth it.Great sound system, very intimate vibe and friendly staff.


I love the Independent! An intimate venue with fantastic bands and affordable ticket prices.Not only is it in the cool neighborhood on Divisadero, with plenty of preshow dining and drink options, the doors open before the show and the shows start on time! The last time I was here, we were done around 10 PM which was so nice. Especially on weeknights. The venue is intimate but has enough breathing room for a full band to run around on stage with great views from everywhere. You can get a drink at the bar or order one from the hard-working cocktail waitress who walks around throughout the show serving drinks. The sound system here is amazing! It's on the loud side but you can hear every word in the lyrics, every instrument. It makes all the difference! They get some high caliber acts here as well and most tickets are only $15. Last time I was there though, it got a bit hot. I was dancing around and left feeling like I'd just been in a hot yoga class.

Elliphant Elliphant Jamestown Revival Jamestown Revival 9/12/2016

Staff is super nice, drinks are reasonably priced, and it is a small but great venue. Came here for a show and I had a great time. The vibe was calm and people just ready to enjoy the show. Nothing roudy or tension in the air. It was great. This venue is awesome and hope I get to see more shows here.


I love small and intimate music venues and this place provides that appeal. Now, I can't say the place is super small but it's also not super big. It's nice how they have surrounding seating areas and I believe it's pretty much first come, first serve in finding a seating spot. One thing I don't like about this place though is... parking can be a you know what so plan ahead if you are seeing a concert here. We had to park at the DMV lot and I believe it was $13 until 3 or 4am. As for service, it's OK. The guy that checked us in was a little rude. After I showed my ID and was approved to go in, the other guy helping him abruptly stopped me in a ride-like manner and was like "Where do you think you're going?"Inside the venue, you will need to stand to see the performances. Again, first come, first serve in terms of where you get to stand or if you're lucky, maybe you can find a comfy seat on the outskirts.Overall, I would totally come back here.

Party all day, party all night! Lovin' the music scene here. Party all day, party all night! Lovin' the music scene here. 12/2/2015

The Independent is a great small show venue. I went for the first time to see Borns recently and was immediately surprised at how small it is. I hadn't been to a more relaxed, cozy venue in a long time, and I realized how much I missed those over huge events!My boyfriend and I got in before the opening act, so it was still pretty empty. We wandered around the merchandise table (which was all SO cheap - shirts for $20 at a show?!) and went to get a drink. Even after taking our time we were still in basically the third row to see the show.You also get close enough to the performers for them to sweat on you, which was pretty cool. People in the first row were flashing their cameras literally in the band's faces, which was not so cool, but it's SO close up. The show had great lights and atmosphere. Can't wait to see someone else there!

Borns! Borns! 4/15/2016

I saw Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros here and I thought it was an interesting band to watch. It's not my type of music but I was invited here and I was down to check it out.The venue's max capacity seemed between 500-650 people.There's the main floor and the upstairs, which I was able to enter.Ventilation in the ground floor was sufficient, however, upstairs was hotter.


Been here many MANY times, most recently for the sold-out Jauz & GRiZ afterparties. Musical acts they have here are impeccable. Sound quality gets somewhat tough on the acts, place gets packed, yadda yadda yadda. Everyone's miles may vary here in terms of how they like it musically, but you can't deny the talent.Anyways, main point of this review is the bartenders, namely Patrick. Dude is a straight awesome G, seen him there for many shows but after this past weekend I'm ready to call him my homie. He hooked it up for me big-time at the bar, especially after I almost lost my cherished money clip he gave it back w/ ALL THE CASH inside. Yep. Now every time I hit up the Indy I make a beeline for the bar & look for him. Dude is honest, real, and by far one of the best bartenders at any music venue ever. If you're seeing this, Patrick, you know wassup.


Great venue. Not to big, not too small, just the right Goldilocks size to get nice sound and a great view. Probably the only thing I'm not keen on is having to nudge my way to the ladies' room when it's packed and hopping.


I like this venue. It's small. It's chill. It serves it's purpose. I don't feel like it's anything special. I mean; it felt like a dungeon when I came for a show. But the people were nice. So it's all good. I would def go back for a cool show


I've been to a good share of music venues for concerts and I've got to say this is one of my favorites for sure!Very intimate, but still enough room to get your groove on a bit. I saw Oddisee & The Good Compny and The Flavr Blue here last Thursday and the quality of the sound was amazing (of course it helps that both acts were stellar). I like how the bathrooms are actually quite close to the stage so it doesn't feel like you have to walk a mile to go pee. Doors opened on time, staff was friendly. There are benches to the right of the stage so you can sit and hang out before the show starts. I have no complaints! :)


When I buy a ticket to this venue, I'm not only buying it for the band I'm going to see, I'm buying it because this is the best venue in San Francisco. When I walk up to the door with my friends to see Breakbot, the scanning of our tickets and searching through bags are effortless (I recommend using the Ticketfly app if you have an iPhone, took just seconds before I was stamped!). The sound is always amazing, never blaring or fuzzed out, always on point. All of the hostesses there are so friendly, they even make their way through the crowd taking orders! Now that might not be revolutionary, but I've never met such sweet, kind hostesses who were willing to take my order and I didn't have to tackle them to get service (TIP THEM WELL OR I WILL FIND YOU). I left a little early to beat the crowd to an Uber and I got a hug from the angel who brought me a beer and a bottle of water when I was up front. One of the kind guys saw I was having a hard time getting through the sold out crowd to the front door and he let me go through the back. The entire time I was there I felt right at home, the place felt electric but not exclusive or douchy which many other clubs specialize in. Usually I find my favorite bands and then settle on going to that venue, but I'm more likely these days to just see what's happening at the Independent.


4.5Acoustics - So good, sometimes at venues the sound vibrates off the walls and it gets too loud--this drowning out the sounds. Not this place.Staff - very friendly and helpful. From bouncer to coat check. I had a shoulder injury and the bartender gave me free "medicine," the bouncer didn't give me grief, and the coat check girl even helped me out on my coatCrowd - very diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender. A couple of sloppy drunks but the hot boxing was nice.Bookings - pretty legendary acts have come through there. We saw Con Brio last night and they brought the house down!Decor - very very red. My only gripe really. But that's just personal preference.


Was looking forward to checking out The Independent, another of the City's small venues for a concert by Esperanza Spalding.  The small venue is similar in size to Slim's., which allows for an up-close and intimate rapport with the performers.  As you enter, two workers scan your tickets, check IDs, and get your right wrists stamped. It's an open floor venue with a section on the right with some benches.  A bar is at the back of the room and the restroom is on the right of the stage. The room was pretty packed, but the facility as good ventilation as it was never hot or stuffy.  The sound system was excellent.  Now that I've been there, I can say The Independent is a great small venue for concerts.

Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Spalding 8/24/2016

Great for a small show. easy to pee or get a drink. sound was good even at about 90*. skip the bbq place across the street. it sucks.


Came here with a friend on Saturday, October 25th to see Rachael Yamagata!!!While the tickets I printed off of ticketfly said that the doors opened at 8:30, RY's website said doors opened at 7:30.  In the abundance of caution, we showed up at 7 pm and... nobody, haha.  The tickets were right - doors opened at 8:30.  We decided to take this as an opportunity to explore, and basically ended up watching part of Game 4 of the World Series, sipping Big Daddy IPAs at Mojo Bicycle Café across the street.  Every so often we would peer across the street to see if a line was forming, and sure enough, at around 8 PM, we spotted folks starting to congregate around the entrance.  We bolted on over and ended up being the second and third people in line for the night - woohoo!At around 8:20, two guys came out to prescan tickets, check IDs, and stamp our right wrists.  Right at 8:30, the doors officially opened and we spilled inside.  Note, they don't allow outside drinks.  My friend was holding onto a disposable cup that once held a pie milkshake from Chili Pie & Ice Cream, and they had her toss it out in the garbage can immediately to the right of the front door.  There were no seats out on the floor, but there were benches that lined the right and left walls.  People also made seats out of the ledges in front of the bench area.  My friend and I were able to scope out two bench seats, and everyone else pretty much stood the entire night, either on the main floor, or up on the two balcony areas.  Another note, if you'd like to sit with some back support, definitely try and get a bench seat, and one that is directly in front of the steps that lead into that sectioned off area.  If you sit in other sections of the bench, you might end up sitting behind people on the ledges who are taller than you.  At least with the steps, nobody really dares to stand there, and if people sit, they'll probably be below your line of vision.It's great to go with a friend that can save your spot if you need to go to the restroom/get a drink early on.  The restrooms were located down the hallway that's to the right of the stage if you're facing it head on.  If you are in need of earplugs, the woman who stood in front of us in line noted that they sell them for $1/pair... and they have red flames on them.  Fancy.Props to The Independent for starting on time, haha.  First up was Hemming (Candice Martello), the winner of the Linda Perry Project.  As it turns out, she had to take some Benadryl right before coming on stage because of an allergic reaction to some of the sesame dip everyone was having backstage.  After her, there was a short break, and then the dove and the wolf came onstage.  During both performances, my friend and I noticed that there was a lot of audience noise towards the bar area.  It was really unfortunate to have a lot of folks disregard the opening acts.  I really like this more intimate venue space, but I realize that that also allows for chatter to interrupt the experience.  RY didn't have this problem, though, since she came on with a full band.  All in all, it was such a great concert and I really enjoyed this space.Afterward, I headed to the 5 MUNI stop right down the block on Divisadero and Hayes, and made it to the Civic Center BART station for the last train headed for the East Bay.  I love that this place is easily accessible by public transportation!

10.25.14 10.25.14 10.25.14 - Rachael Yamagata 10.25.14 - Rachael Yamagata 10.25.14 10.25.14 See all photos from Iona C. for The Independent 3/28/2016

Checked out UFO Saturday night. This venue is old, but so what?  The sound was acoustically pleasing. There are places to sit (I have a bum ankle) and enjoy the show.  Expensive waters and all drinks. Typical big city price tag. Bathroom clean. I will be back.


yo I had a great time here at the tech nine concert. Tech rocked it, there was even dead celebrity status and a lot of others.He even brought his whole crew like always.I got too meet everyone and they had a great layout of all the merchandise.I definitly got me some of that.There was plenty of room for dancing and getting down and taking stuff off.

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