Mohawk is one of the best venues in town. In turn Cheer up Charlies has to compensate and compete as they are nestled at the bottom of the cliff face that makes Mohawk aesthetically appealing. As their name implies, their shows tend to run to the more alternative side of rock and music. All your favorite punk bands and outsiders are welcomed here. But what is unusual is that they are not an exclusive venue where you have to be so freaky in order to walk through, in fact their names is based not on the hairstyle but the courageous natives that came first. If you have the money and the passion, they have the show and the open doors to let you in.

It is a beautiful venue and a popular one among Austinites. Situated at the corner of Red River and Tenth Street, on the size scale it is a larger venue. The setup is splendid for its two levels. The entrance is street level off of Red River. Once going through the front doors, to the right is an inner bar with a décor that follows the popular rustic look that appeals to most Texas drinkers. Low lighting, dark walls, taxidermy, portraits of bearded hipster men, and a wood bar that if you were to continue past would take you into another room with an indoor stage. This is one most used for local events and smaller bands as the room is more intimate (small) and the stage’s visibility could be called nonexistent depending on what part of the room you are standing in. Where most people will be directed to is on the left. An area where you cannot go a few feet without hitting another massive bar, at Mohawks they did not scrimp on the surface area dedicated to dishing out the alcohol and this is much appreciated. However given the size of some of the shows and the thirst of the revelers even they can be plagued by long lines when all you want to do is rock it out.

Where the indoor stage is designed with just a few in mind, the main stage was meant to be viewed by all, worship by many, and heard by the whole block. The ground floor is for those of you who need to be mashed against the barrier feeling the sweet of your rock God drenching you during the set. For those who want to see the band but not want to dig elbows with every fan, they have steps leading up to the second level (and a third bar). Staggered at different heights it gives an auditorium feel and the spacing is perfect for giving the option of different viewpoints. Port-a-potties line one of the mezzanine balconies, for the size they need to rely on the additional bathroom space.

It has one of the best sound systems in town and if you have walked down Red River before it is their show that you can hear competing with Stubbs. The residents of the envious apartments across the street have one of the greatest perks in having access to free shows, or else they are the biggest bunch of Scrooges imaginable. Torturing themselves with the joy of the music scene and shitting on it from their apartments, but that must be an expensive exercise in hate. It is also the scene in which an errant car broke down the barriers at SXSW in 2014 killing and injuring festival goers. During the weekday this area of downtown is more accessible and less dangerous, with parking much easier to find. But if you are planning to show up on a weekend night and score a spot: plan to pay, camp out, or walk all over. Whatever show they have booked, it is guaranteed to be worth it.

A.J. Whitaker

A.J. Whitaker is from San Antonio who decided to make it big in Austin. Every day she curses the traffic and all the other people who had the same idea to move. When she is not passing judgment on businesses she is submitting fiction to literary journals. Follow her success and lack of it, on her personal blog