MaineToday is launching a series of venue reviews, to let people know what to expect the next time they go out to see a show at a club, theater or arena.
Seeing your favorite rock band in a club where a wall or giant post blocks your view will probably end up being a less-than-wonderful experience. Having to stand for two hours during a concert if you’ve been on your feet all day at work, might diminish the experience as well.
A venue’s acoustics, sight lines, seating arrangements and lighting are all things that can contribute to a great experience. So it makes sense that fans of live entertainment would want to know what a venue is like before handing over $30, $40 or more for a ticket.
That’s why MaineToday is launching a series of venue reviews, focusing on Maine clubs, arenas, theaters and other event spaces. They will range from small clubs to large outdoor venues that host music, theater, film or other events.
Hopefully, the reviews will let people find the kind of live entertainment experience they’re looking for because every fan is looking for something a little different.
Dick Matthews of South Portland said organization is the most important quality to him. He wants ticket lines and seating areas to be clearly marked. He wants people to tell him where he can sit, and he wants venue staff to keep people out of his seats. He doesn’t want confusion. He wants a smooth experience.
But he also wants a place with “atmosphere,” like the Maine State Pier in Portland, where he recently saw the Goo Goo Dolls.
“Being on the water there at sunset is just great,” said Matthews, 50.
Louise Harwood of Augusta said she goes to about 50 shows a year and prefers to have a seat and a cocktail when listening to music. She also said good acoustics are high on her venue wish list.
Harwood, 53, used to own a music venue: Hoxter’s in Hallowell. That’s partly why she’s “pretty particular about being able to enjoy the experience when I go out,” she said.
Enjoying the experience, after all, is the whole idea behind going out to see a show. Here’s our take on several local venues: