The Orange Peel in Rolling Stone’s Top 5

The media office of Rolling Stone Magazine has confirmed that Asheville’s own Orange Peel has been named one of the top five rock clubs in America.

The magazine’s Best of Rock Issue hits the stands on Friday, and lists the Peel alongside New York CIty’s Bowery Ballroom, Detroit’s The Magic Stick, Austin’s Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and Norfolk’s The Norva.

The write-up reads:

“In the Seventies, the Orange Peel was a premier funk-and-soul club. Since it reopened five years ago, Bob Dylan and Smashing Pumpkins (who picked the spot for their nine-show reunion run last year) have gone out of the way to play the Peel — drawn by Asheville’s bohemian vibe and attentive crowds.”

Brian Postelle, staff writer



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15 thoughts on “The Orange Peel in Rolling Stone’s Top 5

  1. tatuaje

    Gimme a break…the Peel? The Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill is so much better….

  2. kovuu

    Seriously the Orange Peel, ask any Asheville resident and 90 percent of them have something bad to say about that place. Even last week there was a write up about their invasive search techniques.

  3. entopticon

    A lot of my favorite shows, opportunities that are amazingly rare for a city this size, were at the Orange Peel, so I am very appreciative of their presence here.

    Because of them, I got to see the Books, Autechre, Bill Frissell, Barbez, the high-tech hoe-down, the Moog events, the Yard Dogs, Kings of Leon, Balkan Beat Box, Andrew Bird, Animal Collective, Boris, Ladytron, and many others.

    To have a venue bringing acts like that to a city this size is an incredibly fantastic blessing.

  4. dave

    I agree with the first two posts.The orange peel? seriously? maybe in the top 50 or 100, but, top 5!?!? HA!
    Obviously rolling stone is grasping at straws. If anyone from the magazine ever attended a show there, after they were harassed by the ‘security’, charged 10 bucks for a plastic thimble of beer (granted in NYC that is the norm), and then treated to some of the worst sound and acoustics this side of your garage, they wouldn’t write nonsense like this.

    What a Joke. The orange peel is a joke to a lot of locals.

  5. entopticon

    I’m sure the Orange Peel has room for improvement. Any place does, but my point was really that we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    I can understand the need to take jabs at bigger venues etc; I’ve done plenty of it in my own life and it’s almost a sort of right of passage for us alternative types to reflexively push back against anything of a more established scale.

    The thing is, having lived in a lot of places all over the country, in small towns, major cities, and everything in between, I see what an amazingly unusual opportunity a place like the Orange Peel is for a city the size and location of Asheville.

    Sometimes a city this size can support a venue the size of the Orange peel if it is literally on the route between two larger markets, but Asheville is pretty off the beaten path.

    I think that people who haven’t lived in many other places around the country may not realize that to have an outlet for the stratum of acts that come through the OP is an amazingly fortunate opportunity.

    Towns with enormous universities like Chapel Hill and Athens have the critical mass to easily support such venues, but Asheville is an extremely rare find.

    I for one, would be extremely sad to lose the opportunity to see acts such as Squarepusher and the Fiery Furnaces, which is what would most likely happen if the Orange Peel was gone.

    The OP people seem pretty nice to me. Of course, they are going to have trickier security issues than a smaller venue because of their size, but I think the thing to do is try to communicate your concerns to them because they bring a whole lot of great stuff to the community.

  6. chall gray

    I think the Orange Peel is one of the best things Asheville has–and I say that as a native of the area who has watched the city grow and change over the past couple decades.

    A large number of the best and most interesting shows to come through in the last few years, in my opinion, have been at the Orange Peel.

    Congrats to them.

  7. dave

    ent- Well, a lot of people seem to agree with your perspective, because they are making money. But, at least for myself, my dislike of the Peel is in no way a knee-jerk reaction against the ‘corporate-ness’ or whatever, of the Peel.

    My personal opinion is that every time I have attended a show there, I have had a bad experience with one of the topics I previously mentioned.

    I suspect that RS was name-dropping the peel because of the Pumpkins, and that is great in many ways. But I also enjoy being able to put my perspective out there with the hopes that said RS author (or others who might not be aware of some of locaL asheville’s opinions regarding the Peel) will see that many folks in asheville could list a lot better venues in *the nation* than the peel. I mean, sure maybe top 2 or 3 in asheville, maybe top 10 0r 20 on the east coast, maybe, but top 5 in America>?! Come on now…

    Of all my concert experiences, in many places in this country, I would honestly say my Peel shows were the worst. That’s my experience. Bad sound, bad staff, bad atmosphere (although non-smoking is nice).

  8. “ent- Well, a lot of people seem to agree with your perspective, because they are making money.”

    Are you so sure that they are making money?

    Congrats on the Rolling Stone nod… too bad no one reads it anymore!

  9. coursepate

    Congrats to the Orange Peel … I am glad to be in a town with a venue that has that kind of respect … I think we are moving into an era where musicians will be selling tickets as opposed to CDs …. and Asheville has the the right audience and the right venues !!!!

  10. AshevilleMusicFan

    The Orange Peel? You HAVE to be kidding! I love living in Asheville and am tickled when Asheville lands the top 10 in something…. but this is way too much. Top Five? The Orange Peel is mediocre in comparison to numerous music venues around the United States. There are certainly much nicer venues, that are more comfortable, cleaner, have great line-ups and have better sound systems. I patron the Peel because it is close, not because it is the best! In fact, I will travel out of Asheville to see bands that I really enjoy. Something sounds fishy to me. Surely if this is one of the best, it is an indication that the music scene is suffering severely throughout America. Although the placement was kind, I will no longer give credit to Rolling Stones’ “Best of” lists. If they were number five, it had to be out-of-five. Just my opinion here, but I am not buying it!

  11. Hope

    If the the OP was listed as “the best place to stick the floor while standing in beer and vomit,” I could see that as truth. My red flag is waving. I sense a payoff.

  12. Asheville Student

    TOTALLY agree with first post, Im from CH and the Cats Cradle kicks the Peel’s ass by FAR. The Orange peel sucks, all of their employee’s are super anal. Rolling Stone is so far off its really sad and shocking

  13. John

    The Orange Peel? HA! No wonder no one reads Rolling Stone anymore. They are so wrong that it seems really fishy. Maybe it was the Smashing Pumpkins show, but then again, I had no idea why the Pumpkins even chose Asheville for that show, no doubt it was cool, but still…Asheville? The ORANGE PEEL? so sad…so so so sad. I almost feel bad for Rolling Stone…almost

  14. jc

    first i must say i relate to several of the posts up here, but to say that the Cat’s Cradel is better than the Peel is a joke in and of itself. the Cradel is a dirty shoebox, with black painted windows, as soon as you walk in the band is playing over your right shoulder. also let’s not forget the bathroom or two to the left. sweet smell indeed. kuddos to the Cradel for some of the bands, that’s about it. btw the Peel staff, super anal, bunghole diamond forming types.

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