After a long day, when the hustle and bustle of New York City seems to be just a little too much to take, I often find myself escaping and reveling in the beauty that the city, and its numerous attractions, have to offer. Such landmarks include NYC’s music venues, from the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club to Radio City Music Hall to the Mecca itself, Madison Square Garden. Which led me to think that focusing on the history and roots of one such venue, the fabulous Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side, would make for a great Postcards From Page Side column. So join me for a walk through its hallowed halls and allow me to share some of my favorites concerts that have occurred there over the years.
[Via The Monitor]
Originally the “brainchild” of Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel and designed by Walter Ahlschlager, “The Beacon,” as it’s affectionately referred to, opened on Christmas Eve in 1929 and was originally a venue for vaudeville shows, movies, drama and opera productions. Starting in the 1970′s when a pair of Stephen’s – Metz and Singer – bought The Beacon, music concerts as we are used to them today, took over as one of, if not the main focus of the property. One such act, The Allman Bros. Band, which hosts an annual March residency, has performed over 200 shows there since 1989 – some of which made my list of personal, favorite shows.
In 2009, the venue underwent a $10 million renovation to restore some of its former grandeur. Besides the magnificent architecture that gives the Beacon a leg up on most of the other venues in New York (except maybe it’s “younger sister” Radio City Music Hall), the theater also boats one of the best sounds systems around. With no bad seat in the house, whether you be on the floor, the loge, or the lower or upper balcony, there is a pristine auditory pleasure, along with the allusion that you are almost on to of the band. In other words, it’s cozy, especially from the balconies, as you almost feel as you are looking down on the band from certain vantage points.
READ ON for more on NYC’s Beacon Theatre…