Monday, April 13, 2009

Venue Review: Bowery Ballroom

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Location: LES, Manhattan
Address: 6 Delancey St. (at Bowery)
Size: Medium-Large (cap. 550)
Directions: J/M/Z to Bowery, walk half a block east; or F/V to 2 Ave, walk three blocks south and half a block west

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

Acoustics - The acoustics aren't particularly amazing in this space, but they are definitely adequate. I've never had any problem hearing the bands distinctly. I have heard some problems with the mixing there, but that's the exception, not the rule. At least for some shows, they have more than one person working sound, which ups your chances of hearing each other well and sounding great on stage.

Booking - I've never booked a show at Bowery Ballroom, it's slightly out of my range. But the booking is the same for all Bowery Presents venues, so (again) allow me to repeat what I wrote for Mercury Lounge: All the Bowery venues are very concerned with profit and draw and it's hard to get a spot at any of them. However, I've still given them an "A" for booking because despite having their pick of bands, they are very responsive, even to bands they are turning down. They are easy to get in touch with, communicative and open-minded, and in my experience, foster good relationships with everyone. Bowery Presents likes to sell out, so if you can't draw at least a few hundred, I wouldn't bother asking about Bowery Ballroom. If you can, though, it's easily one of the best venues of its size in the NYC area.

Helpfulness - I have no first-hand experience with this, but I've never heard any complaints.

Atmosphere - Bowery Ballroom is in slightly shabby shape, which really just makes it more cool and indie. It's got a mostly wood interior, which definitely helps with the acoustics. Visibility is great and the people who work there are generally pretty cool. I've never seen an unnecessarily rough bouncer or anything like that, which speaks pretty well to the vibe in general. Everything is place so you can hear music and have a good time.

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1 comment:

Jimi Henderson said...

I agree, Bowery Ballroom is a treat even if you get dragged to a band you're not particularly interested in.
Check out the Bell House to if you can make it out that far, it gives me a similar vibe to the Bowery.