Harpers Ferry, which was the KLYAM go-to spot to see Jay Reatard, closed on Halloween. It will be re-opening sometime in January as Brighton Music Hall (the nomenclature is a reference to the street in Allston Rock City that it is located on). The capacity will stay the same (340 people), but there will be some internal overhauls such as a new sound system, painting, and bathroom renovations. Dum Dum Girls have already been booked to play there on March 2. The venue will serve as a “development” stage for lesser known bands to play on before moving up to the newly renovated Paradise Rock Club — a much larger and renowned venue located just down the street. That said, it is no coincidence that the owners of the Paradise are the executive partners for the Brighton Music Hall. Moreover, the Paradise, Orpheum Theatre, and the House of Blues are all operated by Boston Opera House Ventures LLC. The effect that the opening of Brighton Music Hall will have on local “competitors” remains to be seen. Great Scott, a favorite little venue of ours as well, is an independent club that is a little smaller than Brighton Music Hall, but has put on plenty of now quite popular bands such as Editors and MGMT. Great Scott does have some ties to the booking agent of the ‘Dise and House of Blues, so they aren’t too worried. The Middle East might see some increasing business from Leeds Entertainment, a hip-hop booking group which puts on some shows there, but that had a very close relationship with Harpers Ferry. Other than that, though, the new Brighton Music Hall might sucker some bands that would potentially play Middle East away from there and into the Boston Opera House progression. I’m not really sure how this side of the music business operates, but it only seems to make sense that a local conglomerate of sorts like Boston Opera House LLC would have some more purchasing power (or bringing in power) than independent clubs like the Middle East and TT The Bears, etc. It certainly is a little weird to think about this when, after all, we are talking about a predominately independent music scene.
Link to BMH website: http://www.brightonmusichall.com/