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Tupelo Music Hall in Salisbury welcomes music fans back to the beach. By Jack Morris.

Driving to salisbury beach in the middle of the winter used to be something only dog walkers and nature lovers might do. These days, add fans of rock and roll to that list. The Tupelo Music Hall Salisbury, located on Salisbury Beach in the New Pavilion building (also home to Seaglass Restaurant), opened in the fall of 2009 and has given music lovers on the North Shore a new reason to get out of the house and see live bands once again.

Plenty of free parking in front of the building makes getting here and staying here a breeze. Walk through the doors and the first thing you notice is the size of the venue. With a massive stage and dance floor situated in the middle of a 560-capacity, sloped-floor room, it’s easy to catch all the action from just about any angle. A large bar with service from three sides makes getting refills hassle-free, and a smaller bar tucked into the back of the room offers the same drink selections, including local draft beers and a favorable wine list. In addition, floor-to-ceiling windows on the far wall offer views right down onto Salisbury Beach. Of course, there’s plenty of civilized seating (with table service) around the dance floor for anyone looking to take in the show without breaking a sweat. A limited menu of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches is offered, but if you’ve come here to rock, then you may want to fill up at Seaglass next door first. Add to that a dazzling light system, a professional soundboard, and year-round entertainment, and you’ve got the best live music venue on the North Shore. Truth be told: it’s about time.

nsfm10_tupelo_2Long gone are the days when Frank Sinatra, Liberace, and even Aerosmith performed at this beach, but looking at the list of artists scheduled for this stage, it seems as if those good times might finally be returning. Ani DiFranco, Marky Ramone, Tom Rush, Bo Bice, Hothouse Flowers, Jo Dee Messina, Robert Cray, and many more are all scheduled to play here. The bills for this venue cater to a more mature crowd, but that’s not to say maturity is a prerequisite for letting your hair down and throwing a few devil-pronged salutes in the air-once the bands get cranking, you may not be able to help yourself. And that’s one of the great attractions to this music hall: you can catch big-name acts right here in a smaller, more intimate setting. 4 Ocean Front North, Salisbury, 603-437-5100,