jm199, we may, indeed, have to agree to disagree. For while I have been to the Birchmere many times over my more than 30-year DC area residency (and seen some fine acts there), its biggest fault is its constant ability to confirm its stodginess by forbidding dancing. Yes, I know the Birchmere’s bandstand (which is awesome) both encourages and allows dancing to the more upbeat bands it books, but the uppity concert hall is only ripe for those acts whose only inspiration to move is to move your right hand to extricate your wallet to overpay for the Birchmere’s mediocre food.
Iota, conversely, is wide-open. Books more cutting-edge and emrging acts. Offers space to stand or dance (big "no-nos" in the "Footloose"-like-town that is the Birchmere). And has great beers on tap. In addition, the food is scrumptious.
Iota Club & Cafe for the Mosquitos.
(NOTE: This comes with the obvious exception that on February 28th Los Straitjackets [http://www.straitjackets.com/] are playing in the Birchmere’s less-stodgy Bandstand. Be there or be square, Road Fooders !)