Watch Jefferson Starship’s Hilarious Voyage into the Far-Out Splendor of an Underground Concert Hall

Jefferson Airplane enter Cumberland Caves' Volcano Room
(Image credit: Jude Gold)

We’ve all heard about the underground music scene, but this unusual venue literally is 333 feet beneath the Earth’s surface.

Located just outside McMinnville, Tennessee between Nashville and Chattanooga, Cumberland Caverns’ Volcano Room offers one of the most extraordinary gigging experiences for performers and audiences alike.

Set among 27 miles of caves and underground passages featuring otherworldly underground rock formations, waterfalls and pools, this concert hall is a world away from anything else.

Maintaining a cool 56 degrees, regardless of outside weather conditions, the amphitheater’s jagged structure naturally breaks up reverberations, resulting in what has been described as near-perfect acoustics.

“Primordial silence and perpetual darkness give way to the sounds of the finest music on earth,” declares some recent gig promo literature.

Suffice to say, there have been no noise complaints by neighbors.

Tennessee Tourism & Third Man Records 333 Feet Underground at Cumberland Caverns on September 29, 2017 in McMinnville, Tennessee.

The Volcano Room (Image credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Tennessee Tourism)

Last month, platinum-selling rockers Jefferson Starship descended the depths to perform a show in a markedly different space from their epic arena concerts of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Currently comprising guitarist/vocalist David Freiberg, guitarist/vocalist Cathy Richardson, keyboardist Chris Smith and drummer Donny Baldwin, Jefferson Starship’s passage into the world-famous music spot was captured on camera by Guitar Player’s very own Jude Gold who plays lead guitar in the band.

The same lineup tracked Jefferson Starship's latest release, Mother of the Sun (opens in new tab). The first of the band’s studio works without founding member Paul Kantner (1941-2016), this 7-song recording was released in 2020 via Golden Robot Records.

Keeping the magic of Jefferson Starship’s music alive, the band are continuing to tour (opens in new tab) extensively this year above ground in North America, Europe and New Zealand.

Browse the Jefferson Starship catalog here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.