Here is something you don’t too often find in most magazine’s a review of a venue. I know it’s not a rare thing either, but it’s really something you will find more often here in Damnation. So last week a few friends and I went to Louisville, KY to catch a show. The concert review is coming soon, but I really want to focus more on the venue aspect of it. You see having gone to as many concerts as I have you start to pay attention to some of the little things, especially being a photographer at concerts I noticed the lighting more than anything. Now I would like to start by saying Headliners is a nice little club almost directly from I-64, you have to take a few back roads but once off the highway its like a 2 minute scavenger hunt through a maze of back streets. You know you found it when you see the Huge line of concert-goers waiting to get in. Upon entering Headliner’s about 2 or 3 different people greet you at once: the woman on her stool accepting tickets and looking up the will call list on the venue’s laptop, one guy checking your ID and if you have a bag he is looking in there, while the other is giving you a wristband with a stamp all in the matter of 2 ft entering the door. There isn’t really much they can do however, no extensive hallway to spread things out and no box office either so I suppose they deal with their situation quite well. Though my thoughts would have been to have the person checking ID’s and giving out wristbands to those 21 and over could be outside getting things taken care of ahead of time to make a more fluid entry to the venue.
Venue: Once inside you have the bar to the right in the back of the venue by the entrance, stage about 100 ft in front of you, a stairwell and balcony along the far right wall, this is where they had the merchandise which I saw fitting because it wasn’t in way of the open floor for the mosh pit or anything like that. The stage was about waist level, granted I am about 6 ft tall so waist level to me is different from many of you, but you aren’t having to stare up at the band while they are playing and that is what matters. I didn’t see it posted anywhere, though I didn’t look too hard either, but I would have to guess capacity was about 500-600, so this is your basic midsized venue perfect for most touring acts that are trying to build their fan base, or even a nice guerilla style tour where a more renowned national act books a smaller sized venue than they would usually play and it makes it just a much more intimate show for the fans and the band. (These things should really happen more often). To the left of the stage is the backstage area as well as the entrance for bands to load in/out their equipment, this area is ‘roped off’ mostly so the fans don’t interfere with anything and keeping them from sneaking into the backstage room. Now not having been able to enter the backstage room I am not sure on its size but it seemed like it could be rather comfortable, maybe the size of a medium bedroom I wouldn’t guess the size of a master bedroom though if fitted with a bathroom and showers I could be wrong. (A)
Lighting: I was very pleased with the lighting for the stage. It reminded me very much of something you might see more at an outdoor venue or maybe a theatre type venue. But I was very impressed. Most of the time as a photographer the lighting doesn’t want to cooperate with me and I have to do some adjusting of the photos afterward, it wasn’t the case this time. Now I will admit most of it might have to do with my camera being ancient and all, we’ll see how things change for other venues once I get a new one. But I have to admit this was some of the best lighting I have seen in a smaller venue in a LONG time, and I have been to a great amount. (A)
Sound: For every concert goer sound is always key. These bands performing put out their heart and soul every night on stage and well it is not only the sound guy’s responsibility to make sure the sound of not only the headliner but the opening acts is well represented, but it is also the venues sound system being capable of putting out the sounds and levels that the bands want. I mean if you have bad sound chances are it was either a bad sound guy or the venue wasn’t well equipped. Now Headliners Music Hall had no problems, every band sounded just as you would expect them to you could hear the high’s and the low’s of every instrument. Now I was standing up front the entire show and that to me was key, usually if you are up front in the smaller venues you don’t get the full effect of the sound you either get the right side or the left-sided and it’s not an equal distribution. This was not the case here, I heard every note as they were meant to be heard as I am sure it was the same for not only the rest of the people up against the front of the stage but as well as for the patrons standing in the back or even up on the balcony trying to take it easy. (A)
Headliner’s was a great concert experience for me, for my friends, and for the rest of the crowd. I would highly recommend if you are in Louisville, KY and you are looking for something to do check out the lineup at Headliner’s you will be pleased from all aspects Sound, Visual, Crowd, and well it seemed like they had a nice bar choice too!
Headliners is located at:
1386 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40204