Posted in NYC | dance | music | venues on April 8, 2014

by Bill Pearis

confetti rains at Lada Gaga's Roseland farewell, 4/7/2014 (photo by @talithaanne)
Roseland

Roseland this morning (photo via @sayitaintsosis)
Roseland

Roseland opened in New York in 1919 and hosted icons like Count Basie in the Thirties. It relocated to its 52nd Street home (a former skating rink called Gay Blades) in the late Fifties, where a display inside touted the number of couples who'd met there and married. In the Seventies and Eighties, the spot was a disco haven; in the Nineties its 3,500-capacity crowds moshed to Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Its next occupants will be a 59-story apartment building, according to the New Yorker.

As a Manhattan native, chances are Gaga has many connections to the club, but she didn't regale the crowd with any personal stories about transformative nights on Roseland's famously springy dance floor (she earlier told a reporter about a Franz Ferdinand show there during her senior year of high school where she broke her nose in the pit). Instead, she stuck to her usual self-empowerment lectures ("Do you love you? Then scream!") and spent an outsized amount of time bidding farewell to the female dancer who slithered across the stage with her for Artpop's squelchy bisexual romp "Sexx Dreams." - [Rolling Stone]

Lada Gaga's seven-show run at Roseland came to a close last night (4/7) and with it the end of one of New York City's most famous clubs which had been in its present location since 1958.

Roseland was also home to the annual, over-the-top gay dancefest The Black Party and The Village Voice has a cover story on it, the venue and the changing face (and location) of club culture in NYC:

Pevner scouted other venues, but the Black Party not only needs a dance floor large enough to accommodate thousands of people, but also an entire weekend to install its own soundsystem and light rigs. The Saint at Large, which has held the party at Roseland for a quarter century, had a two-year option extending through 2015. "I told my lawyer to write a letter to address that we employ a staff full-time to work on this," Pevner says, "and if you're going to renege, here's the settlement." Pevner insisted that Ginsberg keep the club open at least through the third weekend in March, the one nearest the vernal equinox, which the party celebrates. According to Pevner, "They didn't want to end with the Black Party." So Ginsberg ended up with a win-win: Gaga gets reams of publicity and the club goes out in a blaze of glory.

Still, serious dance enthusiasts will always remember the club more for its unobstructed quarter-acre dance floor than as a midsize concert venue. Everything about Roseland was outsize, right down to its 14 coat-check windows.

More than anything, Roseland's closing marks the most painful sign to date that New York City's big rooms have become an endangered species. That a luxury residential space will likely replace it confirms the main culprit: an insatiable appetite for upscale housing that has transformed Manhattan, from the financial district to Harlem and beyond -- what Fordham professor Mark Caldwell, author of New York Night: The Mystique and Its History, has called "galloping gentrification."

I saw a lot of shows at Roseland, though mostly in the '90s -- Blur, and Oasis come to mind and I got to go to the Rolling Stones show there in 2002. My last visit there was for Big Audio Dynamite in 2011. I was never crazy about seeing shows there, but I always dug the classic vibe. What shows did you see there?

Roseland, you'll be missed.

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Portishead famously played their in the late 90s. I say famous because not only was it an exciting show at the time, the show was recorded for a live album and DVD. Watch the whole thing (via someone uploading it to YouTube), below...

Now watch an entire Radiohead show at Roseland.

Mastodon @ Roseland in 2012 (more by Rebecca Reed)
Roseland

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Comments (72)

Way to go out with a whimper!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:22 AM

good fucking riddance

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:23 AM

Will miss this place for the mid-size shows. At least it's better than T5.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:24 AM

Really stupid to use RIP for a building. Especially after you RIPed like four people just yesterday.
And no one who enjoy live music will miss that aweful dump.

Posted by ME | April 8, 2014 11:26 AM

Radiohead 2012 was amazing!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:26 AM

its no 285 kent

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:27 AM

*awful dump - sorry! Commenting while taking a dump could damage your spelling....

Posted by ME | April 8, 2014 11:30 AM

Saw some cool shows here over the years, but it was definitely past its prime. Considering how many good acts played there in the '90s, it's a little sad that a half-assed, hour-long Lady Gaga show was the way they decided to end it. Oh well.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:30 AM

I was at the Blur show mentioned here - I would say I saw Blur there, but sightlines really were so bad that I never actually *saw* the band. Radiohead/Thom Yorke seemed to like the place though, and I do have good memories of those shows there, although I made sure to be up front for those.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:31 AM

fortunate to see Radiohead play at Roseland. Pretty stupid that it's being turned into some unaffordable apartments.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:31 AM

I saw Radiohead and Atoms for Peace there. It felt amazing seeing those shows in a small venue. It seemed intimate and classic. RIP Roseland.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:32 AM

first show i saw there was guided by voices opening for pavement in 94.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:33 AM

"*awful dump - sorry! Commenting while taking a dump could damage your spelling..."

I never understood why it was referred to as "Taking" a dump. Aren't you leaving a dump rather than taking it?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:33 AM

Social Distortion
Descendents

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:34 AM

Can never have enough unaffordable apartments in this town, buddy. Rich man's playground.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:36 AM

Common, that place had the worst sightlines and worst sound in the city. You newcomers complain on terminal 5? You have no idea, roseland was by far the worst venue to see a show!
You had to go there really really early to catch a decent spot and then stand on your feet for hours until showtime. Otherwise, standing at the rear half of the floor would've been a waste of money.

Only good memory in 17 years of shows there: David Bowie!
(Sorry radiohead annoying kids...)

Posted by ME | April 8, 2014 11:37 AM

there were two Blur shows at Roseland... '96 and then in '99. The one in-between at Supper Club was better though. The thing I remember most about Oasis (also '96 I think) was this band Acetone who opened for them. That was when the stage was in the middle on the side (I think).

Posted by bill p | April 8, 2014 11:37 AM

LOLz. Nobody will miss this place.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:38 AM

November 10, 2004 = Megadeth. November 11, 2004 = Slayer. Back to back. That was insane.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:40 AM

My Bloody Valentine 2008 was phenomenal.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:41 AM

Iggy & The Stooges reunion show there was pretty awesome!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:45 AM

Hey guys, Lorde was special, right? Right?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:46 AM

First show I saw there was Weezer on the Pinkerton tour..

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:47 AM

I broke my hymen at one of those Count Basie shows. Shit was insaaaaaaane.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:50 AM

Squirrel Nut Zippers in 1997... ACE!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:58 AM

I never understood the sightlines complaint. The stage is not low and the poles are way off to the side. If you are short, you should be blaming your parents, not the venue.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:02 PM

the hate for roseland, terminal 5, and hammerstein really stems from the fact that a 3000+ standing room venue will never work for a live stand up and watch the band show. It's being sold as "intimate" but it's really only intimate for the third of the crowd closest to the stage and they have to suffer for that "intimacy" by standing like a sardine for four hours. By the time the show starts, they're ready to go home and many do before it ends.

The 3000+ standing venue is really a dance venue which is what roseland, terminal 5, and hammerstein were created for and what they are work for. Unfortunately, most posters here go to those venues to see concerts and they inevitably suck because every 3000+ standing room show will suck. There are basically two options: come early and stand like an aforementioned sardine for 4 hours while watching half the show through someone's iphone (or ipad? did you know people are brining ipads now and filming during shows? i saw multiple people do this at the last show i went to... seriously?) or you come on time and feel miles away.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:16 PM

^I wish I could punch you in the back of the fucking head right now

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:22 PM

^ pussies punch from behind.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:34 PM

RIP

So many good shows. Not every venue can be an intimate 500 capacity. The city needs large GA venues that are centrally located.

Roseland >>> T5

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:35 PM

Good riddance to bad rubbish as they say in England.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:39 PM

First show I saw there I was sophmore in high school. Belly and Radiohead 1994. Next show I saw there a couple weeks later was Smashing Pumpkins.

Then about three dozen more shows during the mid to late 90s.

OK venue. Great memories.

Posted by booger | April 8, 2014 12:50 PM

I just realized how many bands I've seen there over the last 20 years -
Rage Against The Machine, offspring, Mars Volta, Green Day, Marilyn Manson, Atoms for Peace, Yellowcard, Them Crooked Vultures, Jack White W/ Alabama Shakes(Alabama shakes Were Better), and I'm sure there's more. I didn't love the sightlines either, but it was a good size, better than T5 and always brought great acts to play there.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 12:52 PM

Blur also played Roseland 9/11/97.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 1:02 PM

Saw a particularly memorable Big Country show there back when their first LP came out. That was a while ago.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 1:05 PM

@11:26am - Radiohead was 2011 and yes, it was amazing

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 1:26 PM

Thank god a selfless developer has stepped up to address the critical shortage of expensive condos in Midtown.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 1:29 PM

^indeed!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 1:50 PM

RIP Rossland. All my prays.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 2:06 PM

Underworld October 2010! Sound, logistics and sightlines much better than T5.

Posted by hal9000 | April 8, 2014 2:15 PM

i certainly never loved this venue, but every show i saw there was spectacular. weezer, the pogues on st patricks day, atoms for peace, radiohead, mastodon

Posted by bobby the rookie | April 8, 2014 2:16 PM

I will agree that the site lines always sucked at Roseland, and there were definitely sound issues especially if you got too close to the mezzanine. But, fact is it's my favorite large capacity, standing room only venue in NYC. There was an old school New York grittiness to the place and I never had to worry about smoking cigarettes & weed openly.

RIP Roseland - Radiohead 2011 was epic

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 2:20 PM

"i certainly never loved this venue, but every show i saw there was spectacular." In most cases, that's the definition of a venue you love. You're kind of strange, dude.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 2:46 PM

The Shangri-Las
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
The Hassles
Young Rascals
The Youngbloods -Jesse Colin Young spit on me
Flo and Eddie
Gary Lewis and the Playboys
Vanilla Fudge
Zebra
Rat Race Choir

good times............

Posted by Smack | April 8, 2014 2:54 PM

"the site (sic) lines always sucked at Roseland"

What are you people talking about? Look at the Lady Gaga picture on top. There are no sight lines problems there.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:00 PM

Portishead played "there" not "their"

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:07 PM

Foo Fighters...

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:11 PM

A pit at a FRANZ FERDINAND show?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:12 PM

saw Faith No More and Helmet there back in 1992.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:12 PM

Roseland had 2 good areas---if you went around the crowd on the right side you could get a little space toward the front, and the back bar where some awesome old timer was making cocktails. In the pre-Bowery presents era, Roseland was universally known for crappy sound and the clutches of the hated corporate Live Nation, but personally I think Bowery Presents/Terminal 5 are much much worse. Live Nation were just typical clueless, possibly mafia connected old school corporate weasels that stuck to their own turf--major label bands that could bring in 2-3000 audience members: acts on their way down or up like Slayer, Queens of the Stone Age, Jeff Beck, Cheap Trick, Nirvana or the occasional arena band making a special NYC appearance like the Stones, AC/DC or Metallica. The other corporation CEG (BB Kings, Highline) brought mostly older acts to midtown that stopped playing NYC, but could pull 600-1,200 people. Bowery is much much worse--a corporate "indie rock" cancer that makes every event seem bland from the Mercury Lounge on up, then moves into neighbors territories and makes their scene just as corporate friendly. Further up north independent "indie rock" venues like the Middle East, one of the founding indie circuit venues of the last 25 years or so has to book all hip hop all the time to stay open and T.T. The Bears can't compete either. Now their buildings are gonna get sold and Cambridge, MA will have NO live rock music. Expect these venues to go by the wayside the same way NYC lost Continental, CBGB's, Brownies...say what you will about the aesthetics of those long departed Manhattan venues, they were at least independent, had their niche, and could attract headliners with audiences beyond their capacity. Try to do that with a 150-500 cap venue nowadays, and you will get the corporate smackdown unless you are off the money grid (no liquor license and advertising) like Death by Audio or Glasslands or an independent promoter like Scenic or Todd P that can roll with the punches and find different venues for their shows with young headliners that will jump on the corporate teat the first chance they have (Perfect Pussy) or 1st gen punk/hc headliners of yore. St. Vitus has a lock now on metal, if they were smart they'd copy and replicate the bar in Boston/area.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:44 PM

3:12 - keep that shit to yourself, dude. Helmet sucked by 1991, and Faith No More was well on its way to ruining music as we knew it - the horrifying legacy of "Epic" still lives on today.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 3:45 PM

Ramones in 78, Television, Replacements. Ruled

Posted by Malembi | April 8, 2014 4:24 PM

3:45 fuck you

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 4:40 PM

1992
Faith No More: Angel Dust
Helmet: Meantime

Two great albums.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 4:44 PM

345 Chuck Mosley is that you?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 4:47 PM

Wow - who knew there would be so many butthurt FNM fans? All of you go home today and listen to your Linkin Park and Korn records and think of me. Love, 3:45

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 4:53 PM

chuck u mad?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 4:59 PM

Ramones in 78, Television, Replacements. Ruled

Posted by Malembi | April 8, 2014 5:11 PM

I saw the Get Up Kids with superchunk, I saw weezer play blue album, and I saw death cab for cutie, Might have been it for me, always ended up pretty far back at roseland oh well, paramount in my hood now i'll just go there

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 5:50 PM

out of the many shows i saw here, rage against the machine in 96 was the one that stands out. the entire room was one huge moshpit.. even in the bathroom!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 6:22 PM

get bent

Posted by blayne | April 8, 2014 6:27 PM

Slayer playing Reign In Blood!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 7:12 PM

Moshpit in the bathroom. Does anyone else have any gay porn memories about Roseland they want to share?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 7:20 PM

Shitty venue, with some of the best shows I've ever seen.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, with Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins opening in 1991.
Prince in the late 90's (as the unpronounceable symbol).
Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul & Jungle Brothers (I think in '92).
Radiohead doing an underplay in 2000, promoting Kid A.
Bowie doing the entire Low album (I think in 2000 or 2001).
The Stones in 2002, doing mostly deep cuts from Exile on Main Street, with a few hits thrown in.
Rage Against the Machine w/ Public Enemy (1996?). Crazy pit.
Beastie Boys during the Check Your Head tour, with Rollins Band opening.
Nirvana (as part of CMJ) with Jesus Lizard opening, in 93.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 7:28 PM

Joe Strummer!!! HBO Reverb taped it!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 7:29 PM

Saw my first live show at Roseland in 96- The Presidents of the United States of America. Bummed to see it go.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 7:43 PM

For all the EDM haters, Deadmau5 2012 (not 2011). That light show was epic, especially rolling balls

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 8:19 PM

One time at Roseland, I smuggled in an 8oz tub of Sabra down my pants. It was a marvelous experience dipping pita triangles up in the rafters.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 10:23 PM

Daft Punk in 1997. That was their peak as well.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2014 11:55 PM

Bad Religion played there on the Receipe for Hate tour and had Green Day and Seaweed opening up for them. Show was amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2014 12:37 AM

First show I ever saw at Roseland: The Kinks - New Years Eve - 1983/84. Cindi Lauper was opener. The club was mainly a disco then, but this was a special event.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2014 1:30 PM

AC/DC in 2003.

One show in 2004 with the lineup: Cheap Trick w/Alice Cooper, The Strokes, & Velvet Revolver that was attended by roughly 300 people. No problem with sight line that night.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2014 4:37 PM

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