Cammy has a strong voice, here with a little more instrumentation:
The unfortunate truth is that Water Street is the correct size venue for St. Vincent.
General Admission - Too big for St. Vincent: The Armory, BCA, Harro East
General Admission - Too small for St. Vincent: Bug Jar, Montage, Flour City Station
Seated - Too big for St. Vincent: Auditorium Theatre, Kodak Hall
Seated - Too small for St. Vincent: Kilbourn, Little 1, Hatch
I'm not up to speed on why Water Street doesn't always open the balcony (safety? security?), but it seems like they're missing out on an opportunity to make some extra cash by charging a higher price to be up there. They could probably build a few rows of tiered seating up there for not too much money. I'd gladly pay an extra $10-15 to sit up there and enjoy a performance without having to stand with the herd down below.
Rochester could also benefit from an alcohol-free venue, but that's my pie-in-the-sky idea. I'm fairly certain it wouldn't fly because I just don't think most adults would want to go somewhere where they couldn't get a drink, again, because they prioritize the alcohol/socialization over the music/performance.
I know exactly what you mean, Stephen. And thanks for the different perspective. I may have been too far forward to hear the chatter, but I know that's always annoying.
You raise a good point about venues in Rochester, too. Along with those seated theaters you mentioned, there is also the Armory, but I'm not sure if that would have been a better fit, either.
Jake, we were in the rear, roughly 3 feet from the back of the balcony. Couldn't see a thing back there (I'm 5'9", so... very average). I've been to Water Street dozens of times before and the view from anywhere beyond the front balcony support beams is generally awful. Obviously the bad view is worsened when the room is sold out.
Not seeing wouldn't be quite as bad if it wasn't coupled with only being able to hear the people around us barking conversation at each other. I was wearing ear plugs and they were still cutting through the mix.
I'm definitely beginning to feel like an old misanthropic curmudgeon even though I'm only 35.
Thanks for the thoughts, Stephen. Where were you standing in Water Street? Did you have problems seeing the stage?
While this time around I had a good view point, I have been stuck in the back of Water Street, where I couldn't see very well.
Wrong venue for a talented band. I'm sure they enjoy the "dirty rock club" vibe, but their performance demands a venue where everyone can see and hear without distraction; in Rochester, I'd say that limits them to a seated venue, but the Auditorium Theater is too large, Kilbourn and Little 1 are too small, and Geva doesn't do rock music (though it'd be amazing if they tried it).
It's a shame Rochester doesn't have a tiered-venue like Buffalo's Town Ballroom or a converted theatre, with a gently sloped floor, like Syracuse's Westcott Theatre.
It's also a shame that concert-goers in our great city tend to prioritize alcohol and socialization over respecting the performers and their fellow audience members. No opening act, nor featured act for that matter, regardless of how unfamiliar or unusual their music is, should have to perform in front of an audience that is more interested in getting sloshed and being seen than listening to and watching a truly great artist.
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