Friday, March 6, 2009

Venue Review: Pianos

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Location: LES, Manhattan
Address: 158 Ludlow St. (at Stanton)
Size: Medium-small (cap. 200)
Directions: F/V to 2 Ave, walk two blocks east and one block south

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

Acoustics - The equipment is decent, the sound techs are good and the room is set up well enough. It's no Carnegie Hall, but for a backroom venue, the sound is completely adequate.

Booking - The people at Pianos I've worked with have been extremely responsive and professional. It's not the easiest venue to book - it's sought-after and they have particular expectations for draw (of course) but they make the process pleasant and are flexible and open-minded. They usually put together logical shows of bands that fit reasonably well together and are very accomodating if you approach them with a line-up in mind.

Helpfulness - I have never known Pianos to fail in communicating with bands as necessary and on the day of, they have always been accomodating and attentive to bands' needs. Perhaps because Pianos has other rooms that generate most of their income, they seem to be relaxed and friendly in the showroom. They give musicians drink tickets, pay reasonably well and generally make them feel welcome. That's not true of many NYC venues. Everything doesn't always run smoothly, but they always do what they can to make sure everyone has a decent experience.

The only problem I've encountered is that they don't always coordinate well with DJs, so if you bring a DJ in for your show, they may get kicked out promptly after, when the house's usual DJs arrive. Just be sure to clear your after-show plans beforehand, though, and it shouldn't be a problem.

Atmosphere - The only failing of Pianos is here. The atmosphere in the showroom is certainly sufficient, but to get there, you have to walk through the bar. It's usually crammed wall-to-wall with a rather obnoxious collegiate crowd who will not get out of your way for love or money. Just plow through!

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