Hammerstein Ballroom

Hammerstein Ballroom

Cancer Bats

Hammerstein Ballroom is located on 311 West 34th Street, Manhattan, between Eighth and Ninth Avenue.  It forms, along with upstairs Grand Ballroom, Manhattan Center Studios.  It is a venerable venue, having been constructed in 1906 by opera promoter Oscar Hammerstein as an alternative to the more expensive Metropolitan Opera.  It changed hands and uses many times since then, serving as a trade union headquarters, Freemason’s temple and more before falling into disrepair in the seventies, only to be reopened in 1986, with Hammerstein renovated in 1997.

Located on the north end of Chelsea, Hammerstein is much more of an ‘theater’ than the venues to the south of it, closer to Union Square, such as Gramercy Theatre, Highline Ballroom, Irving Plaza, and Webster Hall.  It is also far larger, with three floors, double that of the next biggest near Union Square (Webster), with a capacity equal to that of the also three-floor Terminal 5 to the north in Midtown.  There is a large stage floor, as the stage area for music concerts is generally smaller than that of the opera productions it was designed for.  There are two balconies, relatively close to the ground and sloped for better view, though they make low ceilngs for the lower balcony and stage floor beneath balconies.  In addition, there are six mini-balconies/‘opera boxes’, three on each side, which are generally reserved for special guests.  While previously the bar was located at the back of the stage floor, house-right, that created a major logjam, and a second one has been set up downstairs, beneath the stage floor (where the bathrooms are also located).

Given the venue’s history, it is no surprise that it usually plays host to the more ‘artsy’ of popular acts.  This does drive up the price of tickets somewhat.  Moreover, since the openings of Highline Ballroom and Gramercy Theatre, Hammerstein has held fewer and fewer ‘alternative music acts’, or even popular music acts in general.  While just a few years ago it held bands like The Flaming Lips and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (and was the setting for VH-1’s Storytellers concert with R.E.M. in 1998), these days, it is only the rare indie act also acclaimed by Manhattan cultural intelligentsia, like Morrissey or Feist, who play there.  The one exception are the holiday concerts held there by radio station 101.9 RXP and DJ Matt Pinfeld.  The ‘pushed back’ nature of the stage, along with the high rafters, can also lead to a band’s sound being somewhat swallowed up (though a band can be inventive with the huge wall behind them, displaying all sorts of screen imagery).  However, it is a place one can catch your favorite big-name act without being shackled to a chair or having to fight tooth & nail to make your way to the front.

 

Capacity: 3,000

 

Address:

311 West 34th Street (Between Eighth and Ninth Avenue)

By Subway:

A, C & E trains to 34th St. – walk 1/2 blocks west on North side of 34th street
1, 2 & 3 trains to 34th St. – walk 1 & 1/2 blocks west on North side of 34th street
B, D, F, M, N, Q & R trains to 34th St. – walk 2 & 1/2 blocks west on North side of 34th street

 

QRO Coverage:

-The Naked and Famous, November 12th, 2016 – photos

-Grouplove, November 5th, 2016 – live review, photos

-Phantogram, with The Range, October 22nd, 2016 – Phantogram photos, The Range photos

-Lindsey Stirling, October 21st, 2016 – photos

-Melanie Martinez, with Handsome Ghost, September 23rd, 2016 – Melanie Martinez photos, Handsome Ghost photos

-Perfume, September 4th, 2016 – photos

-St. Germain, April 2nd, 2016 – photos

-Ratatat, with Jackson & His Computerband, January 14th, 2016 – Ratatat photos, Jackson & His Computerband photos

-Twenty One Pilots, with Echosmith, September 15th, 2015 – Twenty One Pilots photos, Echosmith photos

-James Bay, with Tor Miller, July 23rd, 2015 – James Bay photos, Tor Miller photos

-Of Monsters and Men, May 7th, 2015 – photos

-Sleeping with Sirens, with Pierce the Veil, February 17th, 2015 – Sleeping With Sirens photos, Pierce the Veil photos

-Ben Howard, January 30th, 2015 – photos

-Ryan Adams, November 22nd, 2014 – photos

-The New Pornographers, November 17th, 2014 – live review, photos

-First Aid Kit, October 24th, 2014 (CMJ) – photos

-Various artists, including Ad Rock, Billy Joe Armstrong, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Kathleen Hanna, Tommy James, Joan Jett, Darlene Love, Jesse Malin, Mike Ness & more, October 21st, 2014 (Little Kids Rock) – photos

-The Script, with Twin Forks, October 1st, 2014 – The Script photos, Twin Forks photos

-Coheed and Cambria, with Thank You Scientist, September 27th, 2014 – Coheed and Cambria photos, Thank You Scientist photos

-Chaka Khan, August 24th, 2014 – photos

-Tegan & Sara, with The Courtneys and My Midnight Heart, June 24th, 2014 – Tegan & Sara photos, The Courtneys photos, My Midnight Heart photos

-Young the Giant, with Cayucas, February 28th, 2014 – Young the Giant photos, Cayucas photos

-Franz Ferdinand, with Frankie Rose and Casual Sex, October 24th, 2013 – Franz Ferdinand live review, Franz Ferdinand photos, Frankie Rose photos, Casual Sex photos

-Two Door Cinema Club, with St. Lucia, October 10th, 2013 – Two Door Cinema Club photos, St. Lucia photos

-alt-J, with Royal Canoe, September 14th, 2013 – alt-J photos, Royal Canoe photos

-Soundgarden, January 22nd, 2013 – photos

-Rob Zombie, with DJ Starscream, October 17th, 2012 – Rob Zombie photos, DJ Starscream photos

-M83, with Sun Airway, October 3rd, 2012 – M83 photos, Sun Airway photos

-Amon Tobin, September 14th, 2012 – photos

-Tenacious D, June 28th, 2012 – live review, photos

-Matt & Kim, with Super Mash Bros. and Body Language, December 31st, 2011 – live review, Matt & Kim photos, Super Mash Bros. photos, Body Language photos

-Thirty Seconds to Mars, with Skylar Grey, December 6th, 2011 – Thirty Seconds to Mars photos, Skylar Grey photos

-Flogging Molly, with Frank Turner, March 2nd, 2010 – Flogging Molly photos, Frank Turner photos

-Phoenix, with Passion Pit and Jack’s Mannequin, December 2nd, 2009 (101.9 RXP Presents Matt Pinfield’s Holiday Extravaganza) – Phoenix photos, Passion Pit photos, Jack’s Mannequin photos

-Pixies, with Black Gold, November 23rd, 2009 – Pixies live review, Pixies photos, Black Gold photos

-Weezer, with Matt & Kim, October 31st, 2009 (101.9 RXP Presents Matt Pinfield’s Halloween) – Weezer live review, Weezer photos, Matt & Kim photos

-Bleeding Through, with Cancer Bats, August 8th, 2008 – Bleeding Through photos, Cancer Bats photos

-Feist, with Hayden, April 30th, 2008 – Feist live review, Feist photos, Hayden photos

Passion Pit

Hammerstein Ballroom

Click here for the venue’s website

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Venue Reviews

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