Sunday, August 30, 2015

Concert Venue Ratings

As a seasoned and opinionated concert goer, listing venues strengths and weaknesses seems like it would be interesting and fun. When it is all said and done, we will see if it is useful for the global good. These will be mostly venues in and around Cleveland, Ohio, my home town. The posting will expand as time permits and experience grows. These will be generous at the top - there is room for plenty of grade A venues.

Agora, Cleveland, Ohio
No matter what they've done to try to improve this once great opera hall, it is a dump. Surprisingly good bathrooms. Scary hall and neighborhood. Excellent sound on the bottom. The top is more like an arena for some reason. Bad bar. The old Cleveland Agora on E21st was a dump too, but with low ceilings. They used to have shows in a smaller room here, and that was OK.
Akron Civic Auditorium, Akron, Ohio
Older auditorium with decent acoustics. Older seating. Weak concessions.
Allen Theater, Cleveland, Ohio
Wonderfully renovated. Great sound, comfortable seats and good sight lines. The old version of the theater was big and beat up but not a bad venue either.
Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio
The Beachland has the best vibe of any concert venue. The ballroom sounds better than it has a right to, thanks to Mike Miller. The room is too square and isn't right acoustically, but Mike gets it to sound just fine.
Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio
The tavern shares the vibe of the ballroom, just smaller. Both have good bars.
Blossom Music Center Peninsula, Ohio
Outdoor venue that feels more like a stadium or festival. Huge. Close in can be intense, though. OK sound that is like a festival in back. Horrible for orchestra. Concessions passible.
Cain Park, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nice outdoor setting. OK sound (rattles around a lot). Stupid moat in front of stage. There is a bar and food, but not much selection.
B Connor Palace, Cleveland Great for plays if you don't have a seat that really sucks. The nose bleeds can get really cramped.
E J Thomas, Akron, Ohio
Great sound and decent seating. Multiple high balconies. Weak concession. Needs upkeep.
Foster Theater (Rock Hall), Cleveland, Ohio
Intimate theater with great sound for smallish events. Comfortable seating. First class.
Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee
Great sound, seating and consessions. 1970’s modern facility that works and has character.
Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
This is the ideal stand-up bar venue. Small, quirky. Great bar. Things always sound OK.
Hard Rock Rocksino, Northfield, Ohio
Good sound everywhere. Flat floor seating with a few risers in the back. No class. Very weak bar. Interesting location.
House of Blues, Cleveland, Ohio
Great sound everywhere. OK bar (it used to be much worse). Somewhat over priced. It's a great place for a concert.
Kent Stage, Kent, Ohio
OK sound and not too big. Poor seats. Bad bathrooms. Dumpy old movie theater.
Lakewood Civic Auditorium, Lakewood, Ohio
Large older auditorium. Decent sound and sight lines. Cramped. Feels like a high school (because it is).
Mahall’s, Lakewood, Ohio
Good sound. Garage quality seating but clean and unique. Good bar.
Mentor Performing Arts, Mentor, Ohio
Large modern auditorium. Good sound. Comfortable seats. Doesn’t feel too much like a High School (though it is).
A Music Box Good sound, seating, food, even the ticket prices aren't that bad. Spiffy clean place. Great venue.
Nautica Stage, Cleveland, Ohio
Mediocre sound. Poor seats. Concessions vary. Large venue feel. Nice setting.
Nighttown, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Next to jazz club in the dictionary should be a picture of this place. Surprisingly good sound, good food, good bar, good vibe.
Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Sound is never good pretty much anywhere. Seating usually uncomfortable (sometime very much so). Usually very weak concessions. Old school arena. The Music Hall side of the venue is seldom used anymore. It was much better.
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Usually decent sound. Huge venue with high altitude seating. Modern.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Lobby, Cleveland, Ohio
Very tricky sound – usually not the best. Temporary or no seating. Fun for often memorable events.
Severence Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Acoustic music sounds great here - anywhere in the hall (even way up high in the back). Amplified music rattles around and doesn't work very well. I preferred the 1960's configuration with panels on the ceiling. The seats are great. The bar is usually limited.
State Theater, Cleveland, Ohio
Mediocre sound and sight lines. Unfortunately this venue is used for a good number of musical events.
Wilberts, Cleveland, Ohio
OK sound. Quirky seating. Good food. Bar is good but have had stale beer on taps. Clean.