Upon entering the imposing stone facade of THE MASQUERADE
, you grab the banister of a steep, crusty staircase and ascend toward the throbbing pulse of live music above. Wearing a slight frown designed to mask any nervous excitement, you scratch idly at the sleeve of your new Value Village duds, trying to look bored. It's your first trip to Heaven, the Atlanta music scene's quintessential rite of passage and one of three levels in the cavernous complex that was once a 19th-century mill. Next stop: septum piercing, indigo sleeves and a jumbo Prince A.
695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com.