It dawned on me as I watched the last show at RIBCO (Featuring a great performance by QC's own Running Man) that this isn't just a great bar closing. It feels bigger than that. RIBCO was a commitment to live music that few if any other Quad City establishments can hold a candle to. More on that in a minute.

Roberta Osmers
Roberta Osmers
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Over the years and thousands of bands, RIBCO seared itself into the fundamental memory banks of no less than 3 generations of customers. I saw a lot of those same folks last night, standing and rocking and moshing right along side the newest generation of live music fans (Watching safely from the side, mind you.) Bartenders zipping around like pieces of a well-oiled machine keeping the customers well-oiled themselves. It's an atmosphere that's earned. And one I took for granted every time I saw a performance there. So where do these folks go now that the king is off the hill?

Roberta Osmers
Roberta Osmers
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There are some great venues that have been dishing out the live music pretty consistently over the years, and while I don't think anyone would argue that the overall scene for live music around here is pretty frothy, there's always room for more dedicated venues like RIBCO. I just hope there's more audience out there supporting them.

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So while the first shovelful of dirt is tossed into RIBCO's grave.

Here's a tip of the cap to the best places currently supporting live music:

Rascals Live

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
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Moline's premiere venue for a live band. It's a relatively recent addition to the scene, but the dedicated live venue was a natural extension of the commitment to live music that Rascals next door had already been doing for years. If there's a successful format for creating a timeless music venue, Rascals is that. All That. Bands love the intimate space, and qualified sound crew and system. It's a luxury many places just don't offer a band for whatever reason, and inconsistency in sound is just too easy a problem to solve. Rascals has solved it, so whether it's a band of kids from The QC Rock Academy, or nationally touring name players, you know the sound is going to be spot on.

Harley Corins

Far Out 283
Far Out 283
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You can't talk about places in the Quad Cities to see live music and not mention Harley Corins in Bettendorf. Variety and commitment to live music, and making available without a cover will always bring the music fans.

Gypsy Highway

Situated across from the Mississippi Valley Fair, Gypsy's location has always been a great place to see a band. It also happens to be a full service restaurant.

Kavanaugh's Hilltop

Since the addition of their covered patio and a pretty legendary open mic night, whenever there's a band at Kavanaugh's in Rock Island, you can be sure it's going to be a great night, or afternoon of expertly crafted music.

Racer's Edge

Downtown East Moline hasn't always been a destination for music lovers, but the dedication of Racer's Edge to putting bands onstage, even on short notice puts them on my list. Whiskey Stop has also added a nice live venue to the East Moline scene.

There are obviously other places putting in the work week in and week out, and still others that will put a band in a corner every now and then. All in the shadow of RIBCO's legendary track record.

If you love the live music, and the atmosphere that comes with it--I'll see you out there.

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