“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.”
That’s what Rolling Stone has to say about Asheville’s own The Orange Peel Social Aid & Please Club. The venue has been named by the rock magazine as one of the country’s top-five clubs in its annual Best Of Rock issue.
The issue, which hit the stands on April 18, lists the Orange 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.
Noting the Asheville club’s 1970s past, the write-up also highlights the big-name acts that have come through and played there.
“It’s an affirmation of the hard work we’ve done,” says club spokesperson Liz Whalen of the notoriety. “And the hard work AC Entertainment has done as far as booking.”
Whalen points out that, along with rock legends like Blondie, the club features bands that often grace the cover of Rolling Stone, such as Arcade Fire. “We get some amazing acts,” she says.
But she also notes the mention is another feather in Asheville’s cap, as more eyes and ears turn this way.
“I think Asheville has a lot to do with it,” she says. “If [Asheville] weren’t so up-and-coming and desirable and cool, we might not get that kind of attention.”