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the Bandits

There are several venues in the Quad-Cities where you can see a variety of local and national music.

Of course, the largest venues are The Mark of the Quad Cities, the RiverCenter/Adler Theater and the Col Ballroom. Each hosts nationally known performers -- from Delbert McClinton to Yanni to the Wallflowers or Elton John.

However, there also are a bevy of area clubs that open their microphones to lesser-known artists on a regular basis.

One of the area's most respected (and attended) venues is the Rock Island Brewing Company, a.k.a. RIBCO, in the Rock Island District. Every weekend, RIBCO hosts top-drawing local acts such as the Kabalas, Circle Seven, Einstein's Sister and Strange Neighbors, as well as up-and-coming national groups like Hello Dave, Funkomatic, the Beatifics and Cotton Mather.

RIBCO has been lucky enough to catch several acts -- the Wallflowers, Sister Hazel, Reel Big Fish -- as they were on the cusp of breaking through to national success.

On the other side of the career spectrum, the Roger Craig Sports Bar in the Lady Luck Casino opens its stage to an army of once-huge acts that still pack in crowds looking for a nostalgia fix. The Captain and Tennille, Rick Derringer, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils -- they're all there, to bring back the halycon days of the '60s and '70s for boomers eager to re-live them.

While there are rare exceptions, most of the other clubs in the area concentrate primarily on local acts.

Country reigns supreme at the Sweetwater, 3500 River Drive, Moline. One of the few clubs in the area that hosts bands playing that style of music, the Sweetwater has lent its stage to bands of local descent, such as the Bandits, as well as national acts passing through town, like River Road.

Country also ropes in airplay at the VFW Post 2056, 722 15th Ave., East Moline.

One of the Quad-Cities clubs with a lot of history and tradition behind it, Fargo Sports and More, on 23rd Ave. in Moline, is where you can find rock acts from Lynn Allen to Phyllis and the Sharks. Hard rock and alternative rock are also usually what pounds the walls of Sam's Cavern, 2730 5th Ave., Rock Island.

Other venues that host rock acts, as well as music of other genres, include The Westend Tradition, 220 N. Pine St., Davenport, Rock Island Rapids, in The District of Rock Island, and America's Pub, 421 River Drive, Davenport.

Blues and jazz usually is what's on the menu at Stubbs Eddy, 1716 State St., Bettendorf, although a number of acts from different genres have hit the Stubbs stage.

Likewise, the smooth sounds from those genres can be heard at The Radisson Quad-City Plaza Hotel in Davenport; Hunter's Club, 2107 4th Ave., Rock Island; The 11th St. Precinct in the Village of East Davenport; and the Elk's Club, 427 7th Ave., Rock Island.

Piano tunes and other light fare are heard nightly except Sundays in the Black Bear Lounge and the dining room at Jumer's Castle Lodge in Bettendorf.

Folk rock, blues, rock, jazz and more provide musical accompaniment to The President Riverboat Casino in Davenport. The Macon Bacon Band rips through cover tunes every weekend at the Rusty Nail, 2618 Locust St., Davenport.

As for underground and indie music, it finds its home primarily in the Apollo Club, Gallery West and the Kanga Gallery in downtown Davenport. Another burgeoning local underground scene primarily made up of teen bands gigs at Off-Limits teen club, 1831 State St., Bettendorf, and the Eagle's Club in downtown Rock Island.

-- By Sean Leary (February 2, 1998)

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