Riviera TheatreUptown | Website
Be sure to look up at least a few times to see the impeccably crafted ceilings, round window openings and quaint windows. It's one of the North Side's nicest theaters, with easy access to the balcony and fancy 'boxes' above both sides of the stage. So it's weird to see all the grungy punk bands, from Bad Religion to Foo Fighters, pack the place with sweaty, moshing teenagers and smoking black-clad hipsters. Avoid the main floor's pit or you'll have to contend with lots of jostling, nudging, smoking and--this is no exaggeration--women coming up to you during yuppie shows and saying, 'Excuse me, you don't look like you're having a very good time.' Best spots are by the bar, toward the back, if you can stake out position among all the tall people. Beer is cheap and accessible, bathrooms are tolerable and the sound system, depending on the band, is decent. Also the surrounding neighborhood is cool, with lots of Asian restaurants and bizarre shops.