Remember that time in high school when you convinced your parents to let you pack eight of your friends into your hand-me-down Ford Fusion to go see that band everyone’s talking about at that tiny venue in a part of town that, if she knew, your mom would complain wasn’t safe even though she totally didn’t know what she was talking about and it was totally “safe”? You begged your parents, swore that you had your mace, promised that you’d be home by midnight, and as you drove into the city the night of the concert you drove towards embodying the “cool” concert-goer you knew you were and away from your suburban childhood. You might have lost your shoes in your attempt at the mini mosh pit (and maybe a toenail), but you felt the lead singer’s sweat just as you made it to the front row. And it was awesome. Mercy Lounge is the type of Nashville music venue that creates these memories.
It’s not fancy: the bathrooms resemble those found at fraternity houses, there is one bar, and it’s impossibly hot in the summertime, but it’s Mercy Lounge. Nashvillians have known since it’s establishment in 2003 that you go to Mercy Lounge for the music. The venue plays host to a range of musical acts, from local talent to those on the verge of making it big. The venue allows concert-goers to have the intimate live music experience they desire, yet it also elevates and showcases the talent above the crowd so that even those on the outdoor patio can feel the room vibrate. As part of a three-floor, triple venue conglomerate called Cannery Row, Mercy Lounge is the “medium-sized”, middle floor sandwiched between Cannery Ballroom and The High Watt. On any given night crowds bottleneck inside the two sets of double doors leading to the various venues, playing shows stacked on top of one another. It’s quite literally a house of music.
Located minutes from downtown, Mercy Lounge draws Nashvillians from all over the metropolitan area with it’s continuously impressive lineup, despite the train tracks and a US 40 overpass that act as it’s borders. It’s not located in what most would consider a “walkable” neighborhood, and the area has some work to do on attracting some restaurants. If you’re heading to a show, you’ll likely have to get dinner in one of the other happening Nashville neighborhoods and drive to Cannery Row. It’s lack of restaurants doesn’t deter concert goers and new music lovers from constantly selling out shows for the up-and-coming talent that graces the Mercy Lounge stage. It’s one of the best venues in town. Period. Check out their website, follow their Twitter, and realize that the shows that they have to offer are shows that you’ll rank with the likes of your most memorable teenage escapades.
Photo cred @erinalaine
Check out their website on the Jam Like A Native page!