The Bottom Line
- Somewhat reasonable drink prices (for the Sunset Strip)
- The occasional jewel of a band or hosted club night amidst a whole lot of mediocrity
- Stuffy and smells like mildew
- Badly laid-out place for a show
- Annoying parking situation (high-priced lots or highly policed Strip meters)
- Horrible lighting
- C-list crowds
- Most shows are $10 in advance, $12-$15 at the door (with some big-name exceptions).
- Promoters such as KROQ and Fusicology have hosted nights here.
- 21 and over with ID.
- Maximum capacity: 250
Guide Review - Review of The Viper Room Club in West Hollywood
Play one for the flannel-wearing beardo in the back who hasn’t taken a shower since Johnny Depp sold his share in the Viper Room back in ’04.
There’s nothing wrong with dive clubs but in LA--and more precisely Hollywood--there is a hierarchy and ranking even in the hole-in-the-wall category. This place has all the sad, desperate energy of the dive but none of the magic, surprises and dirty charm of one. It’s a bit like the Frolic Room with a cover.
Some of us might remember a time when The Viper Room was white-hot in the ‘90s for about a minute. Then River Phoenix overdosed on drugs here, making it more of a fan shrine than a music venue. Don’t get me wrong, Viper still had some decent days in the Millennium decade. I attended more than a couple of good CD release parties that packed in some serious music-heads.
Unfortunately, those evenings seem to increasingly be the exception, rather than the rule. It’s a shame because, even the occasional cool band that plays this venue seems cursed by the mildew stench that hangs heavy in the air, the charmless tight quarters, the scary (sub)human fixtures (unless they bring their own crowd), so-so sound system and general cheesy has-been (non-funky) freakazoid ambience. Save for the somewhat reasonably priced--for the Strip--(circa $9) drinks there’s not much to come back for.
As one wise rocker once said, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.
8852 West Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069