With the death of Playstation in Times Square at the end of the decade, New York City is the worse for wear. There are way too many large and shitty venues, Terminal 5 should be closed down, Brooklyn STeel should be moved to somewhere easy to reach, Music Hall Of Williamsburg is OK except… no seats and it is miles away, Highline Ballroom is OK except if it is packed out… not so much. And there are a whole lotta smaller clubs, that fit between the 150 – 300 and Bowery Electric, the former wins the award as the most terrible small club on earth, they manage to make it tiny and impossible to see a damn thing. Hammerstein is bigger, it is a pain in the ass to get in, the floor is impossible to see, the two balconies have huge pillars that obscure a good quarter of the seats.
So the club to beat now is Gramercy Theatre.
I’ve never seen a show at the Gramercy that wasn’t improved by the venue. When you call to ask when the headliner is going to hit the stage, they answer the phone and answer the question, they manage entry well and check for weapons cleverly, and all of this is great. In the basement, they have a coat check and a bar, to the sides of the auditorium they have seating for the VIPs, but up the stairs they have theatre seating and if you are unfortunate enough to get the last row you are still very, very fortunate: it is better than 90% of the sightlines in NYC.
Gramercy is becoming a deciding factor -it’s where you should go for shows.