Deep in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side lies a small, beige building that most New Yorkers probably don’t give a second thought to as they pass it by on your standard, Big Apple kind of day. Well, that is everyone accept the city’s ever bustling music community, where the building found on 6 Delancey Street offers a bit of intimacy among the chaos of city life.
But few outsiders have ever heard of the Bowery Ballroom. After all, it’s 550-person capacity size is minuscule compared to some of the city’s larger venues and resulting, the big names, with a few exceptions, rarely ever make a stop at the Bowery Presents owned venue.
Built shortly after the stock market crash of 1929, Bowery’s structure originally served as a retail outlet, selling shoes, jewelery, and carpet along side Delancey’s many restaurants and bars. Some 70 years later, the building was converted into a music venue in 1997, where night after night, the Bowery Ballroom offers a home for some of indie’s favorite up-and-comers and city’s hometown heroes an ideal opportunity to show off their skills.
Intimacy is key here – between the six inch high stage and lack of any sort of barrier, fans often find themselves mere inches away from the acts themselves. The claustrophobics have no worries, however, thanks to its kitchen-like size and over hanging loft, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Add all this to the venue’s superb sound system – something that seems to be severely lacking in many other NYC venues – and you have yourself one hell of a place to check out a show.
But don’t take my word for it. Scour any New York City focused blog and you’ll be hard pressed not to find someone complaining about any one of the cities’ venues: “MSG is too expensive,” “The Fillmore at Irving Plaza is too corporate,” “Webster Hall? Forget about it.” That is any place not named Bowery Ballroom. In a mile-a-minute city, where honking horns and fire alarms are ever present, where finding a little bit of peace is only achievable by putting on headphones, and where astronomical ticket prices are as common as traffic delays on the George Washington Bridge, Bowery Ballroom provides New York with a little hole-in-the-wall sanctuary where music and what side of the room you want to be are the only things of central concern.
Upcoming Shows @ Bowery Ballroom:
10/02 – Mason Jennings, Zach Gill
10/03 – Mason Jennings, Zach Gill
10/04 – The Dirty Pearls
10/08 – The Wedding Present
10/10 – Heartless Bastards, Langhorne Slim
10/14 – The Undisputed Heavyweights
10/15 – Fucked Up, Vivian Girls
10/16 – Ra Ra Riot
10/17 – Ben Kweller
10/21 – Lykke Li, Friendly Fires, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
10/22 – Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s
10/24 – Jay Reatard, Longwave, White Lies
10/26 – Pendelum
10/29 – Murs, Kidz in the Hall
11/01 – The Rumble Strips