Villian & Saint, AMP by Strathmore
The 2015 opening of two new venues in the Bethesda area is music to the ears of audiences and bands alike. AMP, operated by Strathmore, opened at Pike & Rose in March, and Villain & Saint, owned by Robert Wiedmaier’s RW Restaurant Group, opened on Wisconsin Avenue in April. Both offer intimate, thoughtfully designed performance spaces, each accommodating about 200 people. AMP focuses on the music, with nationally touring lounge, jazz, blues, rock and folk acts. Among the most popular shows last year were alt-country singer-songwriter Jay Farrar and cabaret-style tributes to vocal greats such as Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. Villain & Saint strives for a bohemian gastro-pub vibe and draws local bands (such as Cravin’ Dogs and Lloyd Dobler Effect) and an occasional national act (such as Steve Lauri of The Hollies, who stopped in for a recent show).