Appearing a little like a giant cupcake, the Alliant Energy Center is one of the cooler looking old 'coliseum' arenas in the area. It is a medium/large venue for concerts (~10000) but draws all sorts of events. I was there for two rock concerts.
Best parts: Being a medium/large venue, there isn't a bad seat in the house. And the sound was really, really spectacular. The music and singing were both very clear, at both shows. Concessions were reasonable. Parking reasonable. Easy to get to, right off major highways. Plenty of paved, lighted parking. Nice natural 'campus.' Hotels very close. Restaurants close. Plenty of other attractions close. A lot going for it.
Worst parts: It does feel just a little dated, inside and out. The grounds can house all variety of events, but the coliseum itself seems old. It has almost an Allstate Arena kind of identity crisis happening, but no major sports team directly associated with it. I'm not sure if it's that identity crisis causing the lack of bigger acts there, or vice versa, but it seems that whereas rock and roll shows used to be able to fill Camp Randall, the Kohl Center, and the Alliant Energy Center without a problem, now it's a trick to get exciting shows at the Alliant or Camp Randall. Sad. The concession lines were long (maybe not enough open), and restrooms seemed far away, but maybe that was because of all of the milling people. The seating is a little strange, can be quite steep feeling. Then again, any large venue will feel this way. And be careful what price range you buy tickets in, because my seats were only a couple rows off the other price range and negligibly different in view. Had I paid the extra $25 dollars to be in that row, I would have been irritated. Usually there is a much sharper division in price ranges/seats.
Whereas I might have said it was a good place to see a great show, because of the lack of artists going there, I have to say it was a place that I saw a couple of great shows. Not sure when I'll see another there, but I'm open to it and wish more acts would book there. I'd be inclined to give it a 4 if that happened.
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