Dig Baton Rouge

Five things we love about Live After 5

By Nick BeJeaux

Live After 5’s fall season is picking up steam, and in case you need reasons to go, we came up with five. Get it? Of course you do – you’re smart. If you have any questions about LA5 (who’s performing, what you can and cannot bring, etc.), visit LiveAfterFive.DowntownBR.org.

It’s mostly free.

Unfortunately, the beer truck that usually parks near the Town Square doers not give out free samples. However, the show is completely free at LA5, and that’s nothing to scoff at. When you go to a bar and have to pay a $15 cover, that’s usually to pay for the band. With LA5, the band is paid for, and you can save money for the many food trucks, bars and vendors a stone’s throw away from the stage. Big-time sponsors like the City-Parish, Budweiser, and WAFB foot the bill, so you don’t have to and more money in your pocket means more fun for you.

It exposes the obscure and keeps the good stuff alive.

LA5 has always tried to bring local acts and music that is very Louisiana into the limelight. LA5 has brought quality zydeco, blues, jazz and funk – flavors usually at their best in New Orleans – to Downtown Baton Rouge. Besides local fare, this season will feature Motown, pop, country, and rock acts. There is something for everyone!

It breaks down social barriers.  

Because the spectrum of performers is so wide, the audience tends to be very diverse in terms of economic backgrounds, race, religion, and any other label you can stick on a person. Having this kind of community gathering reminds everyone that goes to these shows just how varied, colorful and alive Baton Rouge is as a city. Doctors, teachers, activists, waste collectors, lawyers, artists, and even people who are too cool to have a job rub elbows at LA5, enjoying the same band together.

The fall season is literally Louisiana’s coolest, by far.

Okay, Louisiana does not actually have seasons but October is probably the most pleasant month to be in this state. Four of this season’s shows happen between Oct. 3 and 24. If we’re lucky, October will remain the pleasantly cloudy, windy transition from scorching heat and bone-biting cold it has been in recent memory.
Days are getting shorter, which means they will be getting a little chilly past 6 p.m. Don’t break out the snow parkas just yet – just keep something with sleeves in the car if you’re a wuss and can’t handle the cold.

It’s location just off Third makes afterparties a no-brainer.

All of LA5’s shows are on the stage behind the Old State Capital, just south of Town Square. Just past the square is Third Street, where many of BRs best restaurants, bars and clubs (Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s, City Bar, Huey’s, and Lucy’s) are located, making it a great stop if you’re not ready to pack in after the show is over.  Third also has many choices for folks just looking for a bite to eat. Downtown Seafood & Grill’s shrimp poboy and cheeseburgers are so good you’ll want six of each – maybe seven.

But maybe you want to go out, but you don’t want to deal with the huge crowds – and they can get really huge. If you’re looking for a quiet place to have a drink after hours of loud music and yammering people, we recommend not-so-easy-to-find The Bald Eagle pub on Main St. or Red Star on Laurel. Both are well worth the 5-10 minute walk from the stage if you want to actually be able to drink, dance and maybe even talk with your friends at the same time.


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