|Address:||400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA 15209, USA|
This might be my favorite venue in the Pittsburgh area. It is located in Millvale, so it is just a quick drive over from the city. Under $10 Uber from Polish Hill which is wonderful because they have a full bar and sometimes parking is tough around there. Ive seen a great variety of shows here, from folky Punch Brothers to indie Jenny Lewis to Gwar. Every time I check their schedule I find a show that I want to attend. It is general admission/standing room and there really isnt a bad spot in the place, even if you want to stand in the back by the bar away from the crowd a little bit. I prefer to get right up front, which is usually pretty easy here depending on the show! Another thing I love about this place is that you can get reasonably priced drinks. I guess I should clarify and say "reasonably priced drinks for a music venue"! If you need craft beer, they have a great selection. Ive also gotten wine (they usually have a white and red from Black Box, which I really like) and they give you a generous pour! If youre trying to keep it cheap, go for a PBR pounder which is probably one of the best deals. They also have some snack food like pretzels or pita and hummus. GOOD ADVICE: Either get there early (also for parking reasons) or AVOID WILL CALL. If you are someone who likes to buy your tix online and then show up right when the music is starting, expect to stand in line for a bit. I like to buy my tickets at Soundcat Records in Bloomfield to avoid the box office line. At the last show I attended, there were at least 50 people waiting in line to pick up their tickets as the band was starting. We had our tickets and got to skip the line and go right in!
My review is based soley on the venue itself, NOT on the bands that played, which were awesome. Last night a few buddies and I went to see Amon Amarth. It was a sold out show and was absolutely excellent... when you could hear them. Out of the entire show (2 openers and Amon headlining) the power to the stage died ATLEAST 10 times. All of the amps would die along with the mic aalmost every 4 songs. This venue has serious issues and the power disruptions definitely screwed up the flow of the entire show. The bands did their best to keep the crowd entertained with chanting and clapping and drum solos and such when the power was down and the fail sound team was running around like idiots trying to fix the problems. I have seen many different shows at Smalls with much more sound equipment on stage and have never seen such an utter failure on the venues behalf as I did this time. Seriously Mr. Smalls... youre a concert hall. Thats what you do. Your ONLY purpose is to play shows and you cant even do that right. This show should have been at Stage AE. Anyway, as said before, the bands ROCKED, and Amon Amarth was absolutely fantastic. But avoid this venue if you can, its absolute garbage.
Its a very intimate venue. Almost too small. You can see the band preform wherever you are standing. We saw Falling in Reverse on July 16, 2017. Great show though the venue was too small for this band. The place was packed and I felt like a sardine, trapped and roasting alive from body heat. Security could do a better job enforcing the rules. Lots of underaged drunks and assholes causing problems. Nothing overly offending, more annoying than anything else. And this is definitely a venue that should do everything in its power to stop the energetic fans from moshing. Its way too small of a place for moshing. As a former fan of the glorious mosh pit, I was a bit concerned how many injuries occurred and the lack of respect in todays mosh pits. Seems more like an impromptu fight club than a bunch of drunks chest bumping. And the injuries, werent the moshers, it was afflicted to those caught on the outside ring, attempting to watch the band and then the find themselves dragged off their feet and forcibly thrown to the ground to get trampled. If the burly security staff could find a way to end the moshing Mr. Smalls would be a truly amazing place to see your favorite band.
My favorite concert venue in Pittsburgh!! Ive been seeing shows here since I moved to the Burgh in 2006 and its been awesome to see how much they have improved and renovated! Its quirky and nifty and theres all sorts of areas to discover. Multiple bars, restaurant, nice upstairs smoke patio, great standing room, perfect stage height, amazing acoustics, good quality sound, fun atmosphere. Also enjoy the fact that you dont get patted down, security is a little laid back (you dont feel like youre constantly being watched), they dont mind crowd surfing or sitting on shoulders. Only downside is I dont think they allow flow toys (hoops, poi, staff, etc), Ive never seen any in there and there usually isnt enough space. And it can get pretty stuffy when its packed and everyones going hard! Other than that, its perfect!
A Private User
This is one of the best places in Pittsburgh to check out a live show. They are always getting great acts coming through many before they hit it "big". If you have a chance to see a favorite act do not hesitate to check them out here. The atmosphere is always comfortable, it is not too pricey, the sound system and acoustics they have are great (its an old converted church) and most importantly its not that big. Youll be sure to get a great personal show. Here and Brillobox in Lawrencville tend to get the acts that I like to see. Between the two I prefer to see them at Mr. Smalls. Also, if you have a chance to get a VIP table on the second floor dont hesitate. You get a private table and service for only a few extra bucks.
A Private User
as far as mid-to-bigger venues go, Mr. Smalls is pretty good, and its DEFINITELY come a long way from when it first opened!! Ive seen tons of shows here since its opened (hell, I was @ one of the first big shows they had there! before they had a liquor license and you had to buy a "souvenir cup" and they gave you "complimentary beer"). anyway, great place since they got A/C too after years of NOT having it! lights/sound are pretty spectacular! now, if they didnt have to have shows be done by 11pm itd be better. the bathroom situation DOES suck as does parking. but those are both a community thing and the venue cant change them. maybe someday well have a better place to see bands but until then, this is it.
A great intimate venue for smaller shows. You really have a chance to get up close and personal with the band. We splurged and reserved the balcony which was nice for grabbing a snack before the show and sitting down during the opening band. Caveat: The balcony seats closest to the stage have an obscured view. I didnt see the bass player all night. Food was average and overpriced, but youre paying for the convenience of eating at the venue. A few small inconveniences: doors were supposed to open at 7, but it was closer to 7:30. No paper towels in mens or womens restrooms.
One of the most underrated places to go see a concert. Remove the notion that it used to be a church, the layout inside has emphasized that it is a place of performance and it is here to stay. In this place everyone in the audience gets a front row seat. Open to all ages, but has a roped area for those who want to drink. Even an area upstairs to grab so great food or watch a show from the balcony. Artists that choose this venue definitely want to have an intimate show for their fans.