115 N.W. 5th
This summer, Backspace moved into the West Burnside area, bringing a much-needed injection of floor space to the declining number of underage clubs in Portland. Although hosting live music isn’t its primary purpose (the owners only rent the stage, hoping to buy it soon), it is well equipped to do so, with a large area next to the main room that rivals the Meow Meow’s. Couches, tables, a coffee bar and several tables of high-speed, networked gaming computers occupy the main room. The back wall is host to a row of old-school arcade games including, but not limited to, Joust, Tron and the ubiquitous Ms. Pac Man, not to mention a fine art gallery with contributions from Portland artists. Backspace has also been known to host book signings from time to time.
Even if the show sucks, Backspace provides enough to do on the side to keep things interesting. If you’re serious about seeing a band, then you should probably go somewhere else, but if you just want to dick around on fast computers and have a good cup of coffee late at night – Portland can always use another late night hangout – then Backspace is the place to go.