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"Monterey Live (Alvarado St) - Old Monterey" Top 5 Page for this destination Live Music Tip by Ewingjr98

Live Music, Monterey: 20 reviews and 52 photos

  Rich, me, and Trace at Monterey Live
by Ewingjr98
  • Rich, me, and Trace at Monterey Live - Monterey
      Rich, me, and Trace at Monterey Live
    by Ewingjr98
  • Monterey Live (Alvarado St) - Old Monterey - Monterey
  • Monterey Live (Alvarado St) - Old Monterey - Monterey
  • Monterey Live (Alvarado St) - Old Monterey - Monterey
  • Monterey Live (Alvarado St) - Old Monterey - Monterey

I finally got around to checking out Monterey Live on Alvarado Street downtown. When we were walking by around 7pm, they were just getting set up for the first of three 8pm bands, and the guy at the door said it was going to be great, and with lots of university chicks from Santa Cruz! So around 8:30 we decided to duck our heads in for a while and we stayed until closing. It turned out the Santa Cruz part was correct, but the bands were made up of teenagers, and as it turns out, so were about 90 percent of their fans... yep, our group of 30-something guys was here on underage night. Besides the weird punk hairdos, tattoos, and piercings, we also had kids coming in on skateboards all geeked out with neon lights and more. Monterey Live has a very classy look from the outside, but on this night, all class was left on the curb, if it made it even that far.

When we got to the club, we could enter the front door for free, but had to stay in the front bar area to avoid the $5 cover--luckily we could see the stage from the bar on the right. By about 9pm, they started charging at the front door, and we were free to wander in and listen to the music, even jump in the mosh pit... The first band was a little too grungy for me, and I'd swear the last band was the Beatles, but my friend said they sounded like the Ramones.

Besides the two bars up front with maybe five stools each, the live music area in the back of this deceivingly large building could probably hold another 100-150 people. The stage is lined with plush red velvet, and the padded seats along the walls are perfect for standing above the chaos. The best thing about the night at Monterey Live were the cool bartenders who took great care of us: a Ukrainian named Alina and a local who went by Eva.

We stopped in on another night when the crowd was definitely older, but still amazing odd for a fairly conservative town like Monterey. Punk hairdos and tattoos were the norm. Getting to the bar for a beer was a true challenge, as they place was packed. In the back stage area, they had some off-the-wall show going and, again, the strangest crowd I've ever seen assembled in Monterey. Monterey Live has definately found their niche and knows how to cater to this group.

Monterey Live has a limited menu at the Live Wire Cafe, and it offers free Wi-Fi. Drinks were about $5 each for a small selection of bottled beers.

Dress Code: Dress codes probably depends on the band. During my visits it seemed that ripped jeans and tattoos were the norm, but on jazz and blues nights, I hope it's a little bit nicer.

Address: 414 Alvarado St, Monterey, Ca
Phone: 831-646-1415
Theme: Live Music

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 1, 2008
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