Bloomington, Indiana is the Hoosier State’s unofficial home for independent, experimental, and avant garde Indiana music. Indianapolis bands like Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Murder by Death, and Good Luck all originated in Bloomington, and it’s no surprise that the town is such a hotbed for new music, since Indiana University draws in liberal arts students from all over the United States. In a musical town, you need some great music venues to promote local acts, bring in national acts, and contribute to the local arts scene. Bloomington’s newest rock venue is The Bishop, an Indianapolis area bar that’s fast growing into one of the most popular nightspots in the Indianapolis nightlife circuit.
|Video of Bear in Heaven performing “You Do You” live at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana|
The Bishop is divided into two sections: the bar area and the performance area. There’s nothing here for wine and liquor connoisseurs, but the bar’s beer menu more than makes up for the lack of spirits. Featuring local and national brews of all varieties, The Bishop probably has the perfect beer for you. The bar has a rotating selection of 10 draft beers that rivals the taps at any Indianapolis bar; drafts at The Bishop can include favorites like Fat Tire, Three Floyd’s Pride and Joy, Guinness, Unibro Maudites, and Bloomington’s own Upland Wheat. In addition to the draft beers, The Bishop always has a full selection of bottled beers, including Red Stripe, Sam Adams, Bell’s Oberon, and 312.
|Video of AU performing live at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana|
The bar area of The Bishop is a great place to kick back and relax in a quieter area than the performance area’s loud environs. Even if you want to see the Indianapolis music taking place in the next room, the bar area is a good place to be; two televisions behind the bar showcase a live feed of whatever band is playing at the moment. Even if there’s a sold out national act playing in the venue space, the bar is always cover free. Though the bar area of The Bishop is a fun place to hang out and shoot the breeze with your friends, the music venue in the next room is where the real action happens.
|Video of Kevin Devine performing live at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana|
The performance area of The Bishop may be smaller than many Indianapolis music venues, what it lacks in size is made up in energy. As a matter of fact, the small size of the room gives every show an intimate, high energy feel that drives bands to perform their best. The low stage means that latecomers or less enthusiastic fans might have trouble seeing the on-stage action, but the music is always plenty loud and The Bishop’s clientele are usually fond of dancing. Something unique about The Bishop is that it sometimes features 18+ shows, a rarity among bar venues. Underage music fans can be ushered straight into the venue room without worrying about pesky wristbands or hand stamps.
|Video of David Bazan performing live at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana|
Bands and Indianapolis events that come through The Bishop cover the whole spectrum of Indianapolis performing arts. Film screenings, DJ’s, karaoke, and bands of all sorts pass through the doors of this relatively new bar. Past acts have included twee-pop group Rodeo Ruby Love, the tremolo-laced post rock of The Besnard Lakes, electronica psych group Bear in Heaven, chillwave band Neon Indian, pop punkers The Ataris, Josiah Wolf of experimental hip-hop band Why?, chill rockers Tortoise, and more.
|Video of Pantree Owl performing a cover of “Crazy In Love” at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana|
Indianapolis residents should add The Bishop to their list of go to music venues each weekend. This relatively new Bloomington bar is a great spot to hang out; a huge beer menu, cozy interior, and unpretentious music area make The Bishop a perfect compliment to the wealth of bars, clubs, and music venues in Bloomington.
For upcoming concert dates, beer specials, hours, and more, head on over to The Bishop’s homepage.
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