Speaking of DUSK (401.714.0444), Ricky Sunderland and Pat Butler have done an outstanding job of establishing one of the city's busiest live venues along quiet Harris Avenue (tucked behind da Hill), with low-dough action just about every night of the week ranging from rap shows (local rhymer Big Rush recently packed the joint) to the hugely successful Metal Night series held every Wednesday. Plenty of free parking, too.
ROUSING AND ROOTSY Spirit Family Reunion will be at the Columbus Theatre.
From vaudeville to hardcore porn, the COLUMBUS THEATRE (columbustheatre.com) has seen it all; it recently underwent a thorough renovation and the results are nothing less than magnificent. Hometown indie-folk-Americana heroes the Low Anthem (and an all-star cast of special guests) held a memorable two-night stand, and used the Theatre's small loft space to record their forthcoming album (due out later this year). The Columbus' show schedule is picking up steam, starting with an outstanding triple-dip lined up for February 1 with DIAMOND DOVES (former members of Elvis Perkins In Dearland), LAST GOOD TOOTH, and personal favorite TALLAHASSEE (led by former Pats lineman-turned-folk crooner Brian Barthelmes). The rousing, rootsy SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION (with local support TBD) headlines on February 20, and check out the Providence Poetry Slam in action on February 26.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL!
In dire need of a budget-friendly date night? Head downtown to the BANK OF AMERICA SKATING CENTER (kennedyplaza.org, 401.331.5544). The 14,000-square-foot rink is twice the size of NYC's Rockefeller Plaza rink, with public skating available daily until 10 pm. Adult admission is just $6 and skate rentals are $4. Even better is the College Skate Night offer, with $3 admission and $3 rentals); it's valid every Wednesday from 6-10 pm with ID.
Hit the pavement and get in on some of the road races offered around the state. Check out the BRRR-LINGAME TRAIL RACES in Charlestown on February 10, feel those hamstrings burn while bolting up a zillion stairwells at the annual FIGHT FOR AIR CLIMB on February 23 at One Financial Plaza downtown (with proceeds benefiting the American Lung Association), or go the distance at the OCEAN'S RUN HALF MARATHON in South Kingstown on Sunday, March 10. Check runningintheusa.com for a full list of upcoming races.
Rhode Island's first indoor trampoline park has arrived courtesy of former Patriots great Ty Law! His LAUNCH TRAMPOLINE PARK (launchri.com, 401.828.5867) in Warwick (behind best Buy) is an instant smash hit. Rent the gigantic park for overnight college parties and fire up a dodgeball tourney!
And DUCKPIN BOWLING is an ideal night out. Duckpin is easier than "big ball" ten-pin bowling but no less entertaining (like hucking a bocce ball), especially while pounding a few pitchers of ice-cold brew. There are only six official duckpin locations remaining in RI; visit ridba.net for locations and money-saving coupons.
The men's hoop team in Kingston ain't exacting lighting it up this year, but the URI RAMS (gorhody.com, 800.745.3000) boast a devoted fanbase known for rocking the Ryan Center, and hopefully new coach Dan Hurley can get the Rams back to dominant form. Upcoming home games include St. Bonaventure (February 9), Xavier (February 20), and UMass on March 9.