Headliners Music Hall (Louisville, KY)

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
Ph. 502.584.8088

http://www.headlinerslouisville.com/index.php

6 Comments Add yours

  1. IT’S WONDERFUL THAT SOMEONE FINALLY “GETS” HOW IMPORTANT THE VENUE IS TO THE MUSIC!

    I HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO COVER THE VENUES AND GIVE US A HEADS UP. PERHAPS WHEN THE OWNERS BEGIN TO REALIZE THAT THE VALUE THE PLACE HAS ON A BAND’S SUCCESS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE BAND IS TO THEIR OWN.

    NOT TO MENTION THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP THE STAFF…

    THANKS AGAIN FOR ADDING THIS FEATURE TO THE MAG. I APPRECIATE IT.

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  2. Mack B says:

    Yea they manage lines poorly, but there is no doubt in my mind if there is another good show there, I’m definitely going to be there.

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  3. damnationmag says:

    I was thinking of heading down w/ some people for Nile and Krisiun on the 13th??

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  4. damnationmag says:

    Oh and Mack, I wouldn’t say they line managed poorly they did fine. The problem was that the show started a half hour after they opened doors, and when you try to get something along the lines of 900 people into one place and on top of that you have to check their ID’s and all sorts of other things, you just cant do it in a half hour. You can’t even really do it in an hour. I mean there have been plenty of shows at other venues where the crowd was huge and you might miss the first act just waiting in line. I think the best solution for our situation would have been to have a local opener, but you can’t really find a good enough opener to start off what was an amazing concert by all 4 bands that played. . nobody matches up to that?!?

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  5. DOES THE OPENER HAVE TO BE ON PAR WITH THE HEADLINERS? THE ONLY WAY THE LOCAL BANDS HAVE OF GETTING THE EXPERIENCE IS TO GET UP THERE AND PLAY. IF IT IS AS YOU SAY AND MANY OF THE PATRONS WERE STILL IN LINE – IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE. JUST GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY… SOMEDAY THEY MIGHT BE THE CLOSING ACT.

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  6. damnationmag says:

    Oh i was about to go at this the wrong way. The opener doesn’t necessarily need to be on par with the headliner if its a Local Show, cause thats all bands that are trying to make it. But if the headliner is a touring act the opener, local or on tour with said band should be somewhat on par to the band. I mean you wouldn’t see Coldplay opening for Marilyn Manson or the other way around for that matter. I mean I have seen the few occasions where this has happened maybe not quite as dramatic but it was a case where more of a mellow U2 sounding band opened for Marilyn Manson and wasn’t quite as accepted as they should have been. I mean I appreciated their style and Teresa I know you like the band Ours as well but they just didn’t belong opening for MM. Same thing as when I saw Mudvayne last I mean you have a crazy opener like Snot and then boring mellow 10 years (whom I would like if I saw them at another show) played and then you have Mudvayne. I know most of the time its a matter of being Labelmates thrown on the tour but sometimes those just go over the radar and arent appreciated as much as they would have been if placed on a different tour.

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