This club is D.C.’s flagship venue for alternative music. When it opened on 14th Street in 1993, the neighborhood was a red-light district and D.C. was not a major player when it came to a vibrant live-music scene. So hats off to the Black Cat, who played a part in the changes that have happened since. Local, national, and international groups play here, everyone from The Arcade Fire to Black Lips. The Black Cat has two stages: its main concert hall, which holds more than 600 people, and Backstage, the place for soloists, smaller bands, DJs, film screenings, and poetry readings. The Red Room Bar features pinball machines, a pool table, and a jukebox. Concerts are nightly, sometimes twice in a single night, on different stages.