Perhaps you’ve seen me make the statement “New York City doesn’t want to be New York City anymore” on some of our social networking posts on Facebook or Twitter when it comes to places that I enjoy spending time and money at. The email statement that I am sharing came to the site email just a short time ago and to sum it up, the Highline Ballroom will close up soon. Read on.
The Official Statement:
Unfortunately after 12 years our landlord has decided not to renew Highline Ballroom’s lease. For over a year we were led to believe that a renewal was imminent, however it is now clear that the landlord has other plans for the building. This is obviously a growing trend within the New York real estate market impacting various entertainment venues and businesses.
We plan on reopening Highline Ballroom at a new location in the Chelsea/Meatpacking District and are currently looking at options. We hope to be able to announce our plans soon. In the meantime our final show date and programming will be announced shortly. Continue reading Venue Down: NYC’s Highline Ballroom To Close→
The other day the band Taking Back Sunday announced a special performance at NYC’s own Irving Plaza to help the venue reach a concert attendance milestone for the 2018 year and sell out a full “100” shows. Today we help celebrate this accomplishment by saying “well done” and please keep that stuff coming.
PiercingMetal Thoughts: “100 Sold-Out” shows is no joke nor an easy feat so kudos to everyone involved in making that happen. I’m talking about the venue promoters, the bookers and the bands and most importantly – YOU!!! That’s right YOU….The fans are the most crucial factor in making a show be a complete sell out event. Irving Plaza holds “about” 1100 people and historically speaking if I can trust my old ticket stubs and entries on setlist.fm, I have been here well over 100 times. From the looks of it, the only venue that I went to more than this one is the now shuttered B.B. King Blues Club (please bow your heads for a moment of silence – thank you). Continue reading NYC’s Irving Plaza Celebrates “100 Sold-Out Shows” For 2018→
The Press Release:
City Winery’s 30,000-square-foot location on Varick Street has been purchased by Disney, forcing the business to relocate. City Winery New York was the first of 6 national locations and been in the Hudson Square neighborhood for a decade. Disney acquired the entire block from the Trinity Church Real Estate-owned site to build a one million-square foot New York headquarters.
“We have had a very strong relationship with Trinity over the years and knew that the demolition of our building was ultimately unavoidable. We
hope to work with them to find a suitable location given their substantial property holdings. Trinity, and now Disney, has continued to express that
City Winery is a significant cultural asset to the neighborhood and would like us to stay in the area,” stated Michael Dorf, CEO and Founder of City
City Winery intends to find, secure and begin construction on their new New York City location before the end of 2018. The official opening is planned
for January 1, 2020 — which is when they must vacate Varick Street. “It is inevitable in a city like New York that 2-story buildings will eventually
yield to taller ones. It is unfortunate to see historically significant 120-year old brick-and-beam gems get swapped for 50-story generic glass towers. The character of the neighborhood changed when Trump’s tower went up. It is my hope that the design of this new Disney building – and the millions of
square feet Google is adding to their office – will be a positive addition to the dynamism of our vibrant community,” Dorf added.
The new City Winery location will bring the brand’s unique character to whichever neighborhood they ultimately relocate to. Dorf is excited to plant
their new flagship in a bigger, better, and improved space. Over the past 10 years, City Winery has perfected their business model and learned what
works best for the company. The new venue will maintain its signature 300-capacity intimate concert hall but also feature improved kitchens, private
event spaces, a second smaller 150-‐capacity performance space, and functional winemaking facilities. Dorf plans to finalize the location as soon
About City Winery: City Winery, founded in 2008, strives to deliver the highest-end combined culinary and cultural experience to urban wine enthusiasts. City Winery currently boasts 6 locations: its flagship venue in New York with The Loft space one floor above, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston and Washington DC. There are also 2 offsets run by the company: City Vineyard at Pier 26 and City Winery Chicago at the Riverwalk. City Winery is continuing to look into new markets moving forward into 2019.
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PiercingMetal Thoughts: I’m in the city for events and shows no less than three times a week and I can tell those who only get here every once in awhile, that our metropolis is a constantly shifting and morphine organism. Vacant lots are prepared where businesses that you went to for years no longer stand and smaller apartment buildings are torn down to become luxury high rises or hotels for those who have the cash to stay in them. Speaking honestly, I’ve never been to the Winery but I’ve always wanted to. It’s just been a matter of scheduling with shows that I was looking into but despite my lack of attendance I know a lot of people who love this place and go here often. I hope that they find a new location earlier than planned and can get to work on it because we seem to have already lost B.B. King’s for the Sony Hall, and Roseland is long gone now while Webster Hall continues to be rebuilt into god only knows what kind of event space. I’ll remain hopeful but don’t have to tell you that 2020 will be here before you know it so good luck gang.
Last night, the legendary Blues artist Buddy Guy headlined the stages of the B.B. King Blues Club for their final event. Yes my friends, as we’ve noted in a previous post, the illustrious Times Square venue has closed its doors. We’ve already noted how a skyrocketing rent was the root cause and this is something we are hearing in NYC all the frigging time nowadays and its becoming boring. The greed of the regions property owners are making all of the things that make our city special go away. It sucks. Now as a scribe whose spent a considerable amount of time supporting shows in this venue for the past thirteen years, I had been on a mission this afternoon to snap a shot of the “Thank You” message that a friend showed me was on the marquee last night. After attending the Ghost press conference, I headed uptown to Times Square and I was left speechless by what I saw when I reached my destination.
Sadly, B.B. King’s no longer even existed by the time that I got there and all of the marquee signage was gone along with the neon and the photos that adorned it among numerous other lights for all of Times Square to see. Staff was zipping in and out with stuff and when I asked someone why this was so quick an occurrence they said that they needed to be out by tomorrow (Tuesday). Clearly the thrill was gone and I will miss this place very much. I still have to do a massive compilation of my very favorite performances here for you to enjoy but its taking me a little longer than I expected it to since there are quite a few. In my announcement about the closing, I had miscalculated my contests for the place and there was only “80” of them and not “92” as I previously reported. I did still put over “600” fans into the shows in the place so that is all that matters to me.
The loss of this venue also breaks some of the pre-gaming rituals that my friends and I would have. Generally, we would find ourselves assembling and catching up at the nearby Smith’s Bar and then heading over once all had joined in and the show was relatively close to starting. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve covered shows here and how many different bands all get added up but will say its at least “200” on the show review scale and probably around “600” for individual bands. Though its been said that there is interest in finding another location, one has to wonder if there will there even be time to focus on that with the brand new Sony Hall having absorbed most of their programming while some other shows have been taken over to the Highline Ballroom. I’m sure going to miss this place and thank all of the staff who helped me to do my thing for so many years in these confines. Eternal thanks for that matter.
Hopefully they hang this somewhere special. Perhaps the Hard Rock Cafe should look into this along with the smaller neon logo we just shared above.
No one appearing tonight. No one coming soon. Sadness.
To learn more about the partnership between the Blue Note Media Group and Sony Music please click HERE to access the post that we shared about the news.
A few nights ago I heard some chatter about the final days of the Bar Matchless being on the horizon and I am sad to to share the news that this intimate pub and live music space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn has ceased operation as of January 9th – it’s last hurrah. Below the logo I’ve shared the owners statement.
Dear Friends and Family, We’re devastated to announce that tonight will be our last night at Bar Matchless. Please come by and celebrate the good times one last time. We could also use some help breaking down the bar tomorrow and Wednesday so if you’re around and can pitch in we’d love to have you. Thanks to all of you for 15 great years. #partysover #greenpointforever #barmatchless
PiercingMetal Thoughts: Just a few days ago, I had shared the news about the closure of the American Beauty club which was also known as Slake to some folks out there. If you missed that post just click HERE to see it. These venues join a rapidly growing list of music venues both large and small that no longer exist and let’s go over a few reminders. Over the past few years NYC has was watched Roseland Ballroom, Sullivan Hall, Hiro Ballroom, Fontana’s, Boss Tweed’s, The Cake Shop, The Living Room, Kenny’s Castaways, The Knitting Factory (well, that moved to Brooklyn and became one club as opposed to three), Club Europa and Webster Hall’s The Studio and Marlin Room. It’s been widely reported that the large space of Webster will return eventually but the smaller rooms are pretty much finished. There are a couple that I cannot even remember the name of but yeah they are gone too. As a fan of the live music scene as a scribe and photographer, I am saddened by the increasing lack of launching spaces for bands that are looking to make a difference. Many of these shuttered spaces (Matchless especially) allowed for smaller scale bands to get a solid set in for their fans. They’d be curated by an independent promoter in most cases who was hosting a show to build both their branding and the scene. For the most part this worked out fine but now both bands and promotion sorts need to really hunt for their spaces. I realize not all of the clubs listed were Metal ones but I’d seen Hard Rock and Progressive stuff at most of them over the years.
Historically speaking, I only ever made it to Matchless once but since it was in my late Grandmother’s neighborhood, I began my visit with a walk around the once familiar territory and making sure to have a little dinner at a place that she used to go to. I really enjoyed the vibe of the place from that night and swore I would go back but it wouldn’t come to pass based on time and schedule demands. Such is life. If you were a fan of the shows or supported the place for other events please chime in down below. It’s always nice to hear what people have to say on stuff like this. Goodbye Matchless, thanks for serving the music scene while you could. We wish your owners and staff the best of luck going forward.