(not) Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Roseland Ballroom, NYC - Oct 19, 2007 (CRED)
Spoon (and friends) @ Roseland Ballroom, NYC - Oct 20, 2007 (CRED)
Back in August I asked, "why do Hammerstein and Roseland have so few shows a year?". In response, I received the following letter (from someone who would like to stay anonymous)....
Hey there,Down play Roseland Ballroom tonight.
SO I used to occasionally work at both of these venues. Here's what I do know, and it may not be much, as to why neither Roseland or Hammerstein regularly schedule things.
Apparently Roseland's owners are HUGE flakes. They're very mysterious with their staff, always hesitant to make schedules in advance. It just seemed really poorly managed. They were cheap bastards, and rather than committing even nominal amounts of money towards simple upgrades, they'd just constantly threaten and toy with the idea of selling it. I don't know why they just didn't give up. Apparently they've been doing this for YEARS--when it comes time to book some consecutive shows, they get cold feet and want to sell. Then when it's in "prime" show season and all their competition (see Hammerstein) are pumping out show after show, they get the spirit in them to start booking. They do however do a bunch of private corporate events that are not publicized.
Hammerstein is owned by the Moonies, who also own the New Yorker hotel that the venue is attached to. From what I can tell, the Ballroom just doesn't seem to be a huge priority to management. I guess it doesn't gross as much revenue as the hotel...DUH, they never book regularly. But again, it seems like once a year or so they do battle with Roseland with several shows in consecutive weeks.
Both places suck for different reasons. I think the sound quality at Hammerstein is awful. Also, the bathrooms are very inconveniently located downstairs. Because of the nightmare it is of getting from the front of the venue, pushing all the way to the back, I've taken to just drinking straight Jack when I'm there. Beer or "on the rocks" lead to wasted bladder space. One of the last times I was there was for a Black Crowes show, and they "fans" there were total assholes. I was by myself, and have never had problems making "friends" at shows, until that night. And I'm NO mutant.
Roseland's sound quality is better, but only if you're centered. If you can sit in the "VIP" section upstairs, you're in great shape. Maybe I'm just nostalgic, as the first time I saw Radiohead was there on the Bends tour.