This is the second in a series spotlighting some of the best places to hear live music around the city.
The place: Gasa Gasa
Location: Uptown (4920 Freret St.)
Genres: Indie rock, acoustic, funk, hip hop, electronic
Crowd: Hip music lovers
Ambiance: Quirky, eclectic, intimate, energetic
Gasa Gasa has been open less than a year, but the venue has already established a reputation as one of the best-sounding and musically diverse spots in town. The wacky name (which is Japanese for “trying to do too many things at one time”) represents the intimate club’s devotion to top-notch music and art that ranges from local to international.
Initially, the club focused primarily on indie rock from the local and national scene. This focus is perfect for New Orleans, which offers surprisingly few suitable venues for up-and-coming bands looking for a space to create detailed music that exists far away from the jazz and funk that dominates the local scene. Strong word of mouth got Gasa Gasa up and running, and the club has managed to hold on to that initial momentum to bring in a slew of great shows every night of the week. On any given night, you can catch either a young rock band, a local rapper, an electronic solo artist, an acoustic singer-songwriter, or a brass band with the confidence of knowing that this club does not book a bad act.
The art of Gasa Gasa provides a fantastic complement to the music. Passersby will immediately notice the giant mural on the outside of the club, thanks to the animated style of French street artist MTO. Inside, every wall is lined with tasteful and interesting paintings, photographs, and sculptures, as well as an incredible 3D projector sculpture that has to be seen to be believed.
Although the venue is small (most higher-profile shows sell out), the sound system is state of the art, and the room’s acoustics are phenomenal. Unlike some other local clubs that have bands set up in a corner, Gasa Gasa treats their artists like rock stars and ensures every band has the same top-notch sound. This attention to detail is the main reason why the club has become a top destination for artists and fans alike.
Chances are that most of the artists playing Gasa Gasa will be unfamiliar to the average NOLA music fan. But next time you’re looking to fill your ears with something new, stop by this funky little venue on Freret. You won’t be disappointed by the warm sounds, impressive art, and unique music.
Upcoming show picks:
Tank and the Bangas (3/14) – This up-and-coming local funk rock band has been earning some well-deserved attention in the wake of energetic shows over the past few months.
Saint Bell, Bantam Foxes (4/5) – Two of the city’s finest young bands take the stage for the release of Saint Bell’s first full length album, mixing electronic sounds with powerful harmonies.
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (4/20) – A side project of Godspeed You!, Black Emperor guitarist Efrim Menuck, this band is known for its use of stringed instruments mixed with more traditional rock sounds to create a post-rock sound with orchestral flourishes.