Being the live music headquarters of the country, New York certainly has no shortage of music venues. From Madison Square Garden to the House of Yes, there’s a venue for every taste. Being an avid show go-er, I’ve pretty much seen them all. But there’s one little venue that tends to fly under the radar and is fast becoming a favorite of mine; and that’s Rockwood Music Hall.
Situated on an unassuming strip of Allen St, this little music venue that could, feels like a private music showcase every time I go. There’s limited seating, so it’s very intimate. I recommended perching yourself at the bar if you don’t want to make direct eye contact with the performer on stage. And it guarantees easy access to the bar for some reasonably priced beer and wine.
It’s perfect for a date or catching a friend’s show with a casual atmosphere and “red-light special” mood lighting. Bands often have regular residency gigs and last time I was there I got some free brownies that we’re being passed around (not the illicit kind unfortunately). The grand piano in the corner and cafe tables give it a European vibe, and I love the fact you can see the sound guy’s Chucks dangle from above, in his tech corner perch. They’re one of the few venues that books a wide diversity of artists and if you go on a good night, you can catch someone before their big break. There’s an sense of great potential hanging in the air, but they get their fare share of duds as well.
My advice: do a little Myspace research on the band before you go, or just stumble in, if you’re in the neighborhood and take a gamble on whoever is playing. There’s no cover charge, just a one drink minimum. Who knows, you could catch a great act in the making, then brag to people and say you saw them “back in the day”.
Photo by Konstantin Sergeyev, Courtesy of NY Magazine
Rockwood Music Hall
196 Allen At
Between E Houston & Stanton St [LES]