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Best Atlanta venues you can't go to anymore

Putting on concerts is a risky business. Colossal box-office action one weekend may be followed by months of bankruptcy-inducing low attendance. The ephemeral nature of venues often works in inverse proportion to how solidly we recall performances there, with each new closing or renovation releasing a flood of fond memories. Here are a few of our favorite shuttered showplaces:

Agora Ballroom (Peachtree Street) Making their Atlanta debut here on a Wednesday night (with tickets priced at $3.96), U2 had so few songs they had to play "I Will Follow" twice.

Atlanta Live (Piedmont Road) Buckhead's first club for black partygoers, whether to check out Prince or as a prime Freaknik destination.

Austin Avenue Buffet (Austin Avenue) Headquarters of the Redneck Underground, the beloved little honky-tonk finally lived up to its name on its last day, when fans made an indoor picnic for the final twang.

The Bistro (West Peachtree Street) When punk legends X played their first Atlanta gig, John Doe was nearly crowded off the stage by the large staircase inside this converted house.

The Celebrity Club (Ponce de Leon Avenue) It was hard to keep your beer from spilling during LMNOP's sets (or during the Butthole Surfers' long residency) because of Ru Paul dancing on the tables, wearing nothing but a diaper and a smile.

559 Club (Ashby Street) A precursor to The Bounce, this club offered local and national hip-hop, plus some rough moments as well.

The Freight Room (Howard Street, Decatur) This cozy little watering hole proved too intimate for its own good, regularly turning away as many fans as it managed to crush inside the doors.

The Great Southeast Music Hall (Broadview Plaza) Site of the Sex Pistols' first American show, GSMH had an interior wall which nobody else dared autograph after they realized what previous signers Ronnie Van Zant, Jim Croce and Sid Vicious had in common.

Little Five Points Pub (Euclid Avenue) This modest L5P folk-rock club hosted barely noticed residency shows by soon-to-be superstar acts like Widespread Panic and Indigo Girls. Now home to the hard rockin' 9 Lives Saloon.

The Point (Moreland Avenue) This wedge-shaped venue in L5P never invited Man or Astro-Man? back again after the group's "Snack-Zilla" (a batting machine loaded with Little Debbie cakes) planted a gooey chocolate projectile dead center on the soundboard.

Richard's (Midtown) Sweet home to Southern rock, Richard's showcased up-and-coming acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd.

688 (Spring Street) The roof-support pole that bisected the stage of this punk club became a love object for Iggy Pop, a privacy shield for New Order, a billboard for Black Flag and a new percussion instrument for the Violent Femmes.

White Dot (Ponce de Leon Avenue) This unofficial headquarters of Dead Elvis (who often opened for themselves dressed as KISS or the Village People) also hosted a Flaming Lips concert remembered as one of the city's wildest rock shows ever.

Yin Yang Cafe (3rd Street) Apache Cafe holds it down now, but ATLiens still miss the place they first saw Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Donnie and Joi.

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