Baby’s All Right is a new venue in Williamsburg (because there aren’t enough of those!), and officially hosted its first shows on the 18th and 19th of October for Brooklyn Vegan’s CMJ showcase events, so this will serve as a first look for many.
The venue is located just south of the Williamsburg Bridge at 146 Broadway (corner of Bedford.) the MSL crew had a run-in with the door staff on the 18th which I will now creatively name Flipflop-gate (don’t worry, they still got in because the team can clearly outcharm any situation.) Suffice to say I have always felt like if I have to look a certain way to be somewhere then I don’t want to be there (and in my case you can’t polish a turd anyway, as they say.) However, my intolerance for authoritarian dress codes lowers significantly on the matter of flipflops (sorry!), which are just ghastly. Although I suppose it could have been worse (toe shoes, socks and sandals, crocs, the list of potential monstrosities is endless…).
The building has three rooms and after you enter (with appropriate footwear, obviously) you are first faced with a large bar, with a sectioned seating area towards the front of the building.
You can choose to take a right instead, where there is yet another bar and more seats. Judging from the layout and number of tables I’m assuming that the building will also double-up as a restaurant (maybe one day I’ll win the lottery and be able to get a steak at Peter Luger, which is a few doors down.)
The toilets are found downstairs (sorry bog-lovers, no pictures this time), which means at least it isn’t such a big deal if someone breaks rule #1 and creates an almighty stink as they are a good deal away from the performance space…
Speaking of the performance space, it’s in the back. Here’s the view as you enter.
You can walk onto the floor either via a couple of steps on the left-hand-side (be careful they’re easy to miss if the lights have gone down for showtime) or a ramp runs across the room.
I stopped by for about an hour on Saturday as I wanted to see Mac McCaughan of Superchunk (who seem to be one band I love but destined to never see live as cruel events often force me to miss them!). I first saw Hop Along and the sound seemed a tiny bit boomy but not oppressive and was otherwise fine. Mac was brilliant though, I will see Superchunk one day, damnit!
There is plenty of light in the room when the artists are performing so taking pictures was easier than most venues. I’m not sure about the design of the stage though, not really digging the silver shapes.
The signs on the walls state a capacity of 206, which seems low so must only be in relation to the performance space, because the building itself is pretty big. I’m always a bit wary when I see a bar in the same room as the stage as it tends to lead to the annoying sounds of people nattering loudly and clinking glasses, and there really isn’t anything worse than people nattering loudly instead of watching the show. On the plus side, they do have Laganitas IPA on tap… there are three bars in total, which seems a bit overkill.
It’s early days yet for the venue, so it’s hard to have too much of a feel for it. I don’t usually like new and shiny things, and Baby’s All Right is definitely new and shiny right now. With all the other competing venues in Williamsburg it will be interesting to see if they try to tap into that or go for a different angle. Death By Audio and 285 Kent rule supreme when it comes to harder edged and experimental bands whom I couldn’t really picture on this stage. Glasslands is one of my favourite venues, but I guess that’s the target audience they’ll be after.
Here’s some video from the Brooklyn Vegan showcases this past weekend via Maks Suski:
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