By: Chelsea Marquis, Staff Writer
The dark, rough interior of Geno’s Rock Club, matches what it offers in music: an oasis for heavy metal and rock in Maine. Its rugged decor and exterior can deceive people. Inside are hard-working musicians who love to put on a good show.
Geno’s was opened by Geno D’Alessandro Sr in 1983 and was previously located on Brown Street in Portland. Bands began playing at the bar to attract more customers, and it organically grew into the rock and metal venue it is today.
In 2005, it was moved to its current location. It has been owned by Geno D’Alessandro Jr since his father passed in 2006. It is still primarily a bar but has several shows over the course of the month.
Geno’s is one of the only exclusively rock venues in Portland. Jon Morse, the event director, has been playing and listening to rock music for the past 20 years. In the past, he would have to go to Massachusetts to see the heavy metal bands he liked.
He is proud of being able to bring those bands to Portland and to keep them coming here. “I wanted to bring bands here who haven’t been here, or are international,” said Morse. He has been the event coordinator since 2017.
In addition to rock shows, Geno’s has occasional live wrestling shows and pop shows. The wrestlers bring their own ring which covers some of the stage and floor. These shows are infrequent, but bring out crowds.
There are three subwoofers by the stage, which puts out a powerful bass. The lighting system on the stage is simple, but very effective. In the next year, Geno’s intends to redo parts of the stage to make it look crisper and update some of the lighting and sound equipment. By the bar is a jukebox, which puts out enough sound of its own to be the focal music point if no concerts are going on. The posters and stickers on the walls are either hand made by Morse, bands, or commissioned to Maine artists.
“This is the oasis for heavy music that you can’t find unless you go to Worcester or Boston,” said Morse.
All of the shows are 21+, and the bar inside only serves drinks. See their current line up at eventbrite.com/o/genos-rock-club