Hidden PVD

Hidden PVD: Backstage at Lupo's

Savoring a quiet moment with Providence's legendary stage

Providence Monthly Magazine ·

A night at Lupo’s is raucous, loud and memorable, but between shows an eerie stillness settles in, an anticipatory weight as the room rests up for the next performance. Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – the third of its name – opened its Washington Street doors in 2003, and since then has been the go-to place in Providencefor big, national touring acts. Elder statesmen of the ‘90s like The Flaming Lips, The Smashing Pumpkins and Wu Tang Clan have graced its stage in recent years, and whoever you’re digging on WBRU lately is probably coming around sooner or later, like Phantogram, playing January 12.

“My greater joys have been acts such as Buddy Guy,” confesses owner Rich Lupo, who for more than 40 years has been bringing legendary performers to Providence. “I’m a little bit old school.” Though lately, Gogol Bordello (who played December 30) has been a personal favorite and frequent visitor. “They’re like punk klezmer. It makes me think of what a European band would have done a century ago combined with rock.”

Seeing it empty strips away the ownership your memory of a specific show has over it. It doesn’t matter who’s playing, Lupo’s is Lupo’s.

79 Washington Street.

Lupo's, The Flaming Lips, Wu Tang Clan, WBRU, Rich Lupo, Buddy Guy, Gogol Bordello, Phantogram, Washington Street, Providence, Providence Monthly, Tony Pacitti, Brad Smith