Saint Andrew’s Music Hall, Detroit

by Jalen Paylor

St Andrew’s Hall sign. Photo Credit: James Banks, @topshotvisuals

In the heart of downtown Detroit is a hidden gem that is nearly a decade old, one of the birthplaces of many Detroit artist and tour stops for many famous musicians nationwide. Saint Andrew’s Hall is a Detroit music venue and concert hall that brought trend-setting music to Detroit audiences. It was once the meeting place for the Saint Andrew’s Society of Detroit, now a unique venue for live, up close and personal performances.

St Andrew’s Hall sign. Photo Credit: James Banks, @topshotvisuals

St. Andrew’s Hall has been called “Iconic.”.  It is one of the longest continuously running music and special event venues in the county.  It has offered outstanding service, knowledge and experience in the planning of special events and concerts for 30 years. Since 1980, the venue has been bringing new trend music to Detroit. [1] St. Andrews has introduced famous breakthrough acts during the ’80s and ’90s, such as Eminem, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Underneath the main floor lies The Shelter, where a more intimate music environment is introduced with smaller upcoming artist and is best known for being one of the first stages Eminem performed. Notable artists such as Travis $cott, The Weeknd, Queens of the Stone Age, Eminem and The Hives have performed at The Shelter. [i]The Shelter was also featured in Eminem’s in the rap battle scene in the movie 8 Mile. Saint Andrew’s Hall is located at 431 East Congress.

Crowd in St Andrews Hall, Detroit

Growing up in Detroit, you are bound to fall in love with music, whether you play it or just enjoy it. Saint Andrews is the perfect place to have an up-close and personal feel for the music. My first concert here was during the summer of 2013, a month after my High School Graduation. One of my favorite artist, J. Cole was rumored to be in Detroit on this day and would be having a surprise concert for $1, It was called “The Dollar & a Dream Tour”. I was to be held at a TBA location 1 hour before starting. To find out where it was going to be you had to keep listing to the radio until they announced it, or had connections in the music/radio world like my friends and I. After making a call or two, we found out the venue would be St. Andrews. We got down there right before anyone had announced the location to the public but they knew why we were there. We paid out $1 and got our wristbands but still had to wait until they started letting people in. This was a concert that I will remember for the rest of my life, it was so intimate that he started asking people what songs that they wanted him to preform and he pointed to me and I told him “Looking For Trouble” from Kayne West’s G.O.O.D Friday releases and he began preforming with so much passion. After the concert while everyone was exiting St. Andrews we seen our past assistant principle and he was so happy to be there. He was in such a good mood that he gave my friend and I two backstage tickets for a private meet and greet where he signed my dollar to leave his mark. I’ve been to many concerts but this hands down was the best one I’ve ever attended.

Against Me performing on the Transgender Dysphoria Blues Tour at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, MI on May 10th 2014 Photo by Marc Nader

This venue is important archaeologically and historically because it shows how the musical tastes and concert-going attitudes have changed over time through concert attendance:  from small venues from the late 1960s and early 1970s, to huge venues in the mid to late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and then back to smaller venues in the mid to late 1980s onward.  As traditional rock n’ roll became more popular and attracted large underground, punk, and other, more subversive music forms took their place in the 1980s and 90s. This provided smaller venues like St. Andrew’s the opportunity to grow. This is just one of many of Detroit’s venues for live music to be appreciated by all cultures without any being discriminated against. Saint Andrews will always be relevant to inner Detroit. It offers music, drinks, and a genuinely fun environment. If your ever in downtown Detroit look into what they have going on at Saint Andrews Hall and prepare for a good time.

A capacity crowd fills St. Andrews Hall for the Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile National Championship