Thursday, January 29, 2009

Venue Review: The Delancey

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Location: LES, Manhattan
Address: 168 Delancey St.
Size: Medium-small
Directions: J/F to Delancey, walk 1.5 blocks east

Acoustics: C-
Booking: A
Helpfulness to bands: A
Atmosphere: B

Acoustics - The Delancey is a basement bar and it sounds like one. They actually have some really nice equipment on stage, but the room is long and oddly shaped, and while I'm not sure if they've done the best they can with it, it's destined to sound pretty awkward no matter what. The sound isn't bad enough to avoid shows there, though - it's sloppy but far from unlistenable.

Booking - In my experience booking shows at the Delancey, the venue was easy to get in touch with, receptive, professional and knowledgeable. Bands aren't the Delancey's main source of income, so they don't freak out about draw as much as some places - of course, they want to make money, but I'm pretty sure they don't blacklist bands who don't bring enough people. In fact, they seem to be genuinely committed to having a space for creativity and community as long as there's a decent effort to bring people in and help them pay their bills.

Helpfulness - Again, a high score for the Delancey. They are very receptive to comments and complaints from bands and anxious to improve bands' experiences as well as the audience's. They are also very flexible and allow bands and promoters to run their events as they like - as long as the venue's basic expenses for the show are met, they are accommodating and easy to work with.

Atmosphere - Upstairs, the Delancey is a typical wannabe-trendy Lower East Side nightspot (which is not a compliment). But downstairs, where the bands play, there's still a bit of an indie vibe. They haven't done much with the room at all, in fact, which makes it feel genuine. It's pretty non-descript, just a room with a bar and a stage. But isn't that what rock and roll should be?

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