Nashville is predominantly a country town; there are no vagaries about where its musical legacy lies. But we also know that universal statements are never accurate – there’s also room in Nashville for rockers, rappers, punks, DJs, metalheads, etc. (It IS called “Music City,” not “Country City,” after all.) And those music lovers on the margins, the ones who prefer something other than the twang and honkey-tonk of its city’s signature sound, need a home to congregate in. They need Exit/In.
Opened in 1971, Exit/In has taken its place among the nation’s most venerable, historic music venues, by giving Nashville outsiders an alternative option. It was where Jimmy Buffet got his start; where a young Red Hot Chili Peppers enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal; where everyone from the likes of Avril Lavigne to The Ramones to Death Cab for Cutie to Etta James to Talking Heads performed.
But reaching historic status isn’t easy. Exit/In had to fight for its place as outsiders within Nashville’s live music scene, and the club – as well as the people involved with it – have a ton of fascinating stories to tell. That fascinating past gives Exit/In a built-in legend for anyone who steps through its doors now which, if you’re smart, you’ll do the next time you find yourself in Nashville. -UPROXX