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Venue Crush: House of Blues Boston

February 18, 2009

After not having a huge standing-only venue in Boston for some time, the corporate juggernaut Livenation gives a gift to Boston: our very own House of Blues concert venue and Southern fried restaurant. My companion Jeremy and our houseguest Henry got a sneak peek last night of the new HOB at a Heavy Rotation Records (the recording label of Berklee) house party.

After waiting in line for some time, we were finally allowed in and were ushered into a room with wanded security people. I was subjected to what was like an airplane security search: Open your bag, take off your hat, do this, do that, do the hokey-pokey, turn yourself around. It was trés lame. But, once you get past “the man” the place is awesome. Orginal folk art adorns the walls (we checked: the artists named under the pieces are real people, it’s not just corporate fakery). The standing room area alone is gigantic. We stood in the very back and still had a great view of the band and could hear everything perfectly. The sound quality alone is reason enough to go.

There are three floors, although last night only the first floor was open to the public. The second floor is another viewing level and the third floor has seating. The main floor has an abundance of bars to get your drink on. I can’t stress how big this place was (my photos are really crappy and don’t do it justice). With a capacity of 2500, it spans almost the entire block of Lansdowne Street!

Our real test was the bathrooms. The women’s room was the biggest and nicest venue bathroom I’ve ever seen. Lots of communal sinks and mirrors. The men’s room was not as nice although there were places to put your drink when you used the urinal (a nice touch says Jeremy). The venue is full of these little touches. For example, all the railings are carved out so there’s no worry of having your drink spill. It’s nice to see common sense put to good use.

I really dug the new HOB. Boston has been craving a place like this and the HOB delivers.

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