Top 5 Concert Venues in New EnglandSeptember 14th, 2010 | Drew Bartlett
1. Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – Providence, Rhode Island
So, there are many reasons why I chose Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel as my top favorite. The first reason is location. It’s located in the heart of Providence, right next to the Mall. This works out perfect because you can park at the mall then just walk to and from the concert which helps avoid traffic. Atmosphere is the second reason. When you walk into Lupo’s, the lighting and layout of the venue makes you feel really in the mood for any kind of music. There’s a bar right in the center on the first floor and a large balcony on the second floor. It really gets you prepared for the concert. A huge deal, especially for us is security guards and rules. We need to have some lax rules and security for us to get some good pictures and of course, have a fun concert. Lupo’s security and rules are very laid back, at least when compared to other venues. The last and obvious reason is acoustics or the sound of the music. Lupo’s has two large hanging speakers that emit such strong and powerful, yet not overwhelming sound as well as other speakers that help aid in the awesome music. I’ve seen some real cool shows there including All American Rejects, The Used, Atreyu, Shiny Toy Guns, and Anberlin just to name a few. In a nutshell, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel is a pretty cool venue for its ease of access, lax rules, and overall music sound and that’s why it makes it at number 1 on this list.
2. Comcast Center – Mansfield, Massachuestts
Second on our list of New England Concert Venues is The Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. First off, you may be thinking “he’s wrong, that venue is in Boston!” NO! This venue is in Mansfield but the concert T-Shirts and show information always says Boston. It’s honestly not even that close to Boston. But whatever on to why it’s good. The Comcast Center is a great venue for summer concerts and outdoor music festivals. I’ve been lucky enough to attend two Vans Warped Tours, and The Bamboozle Road Show for music festivals and for concerts I’ve seen bands such as Paramore, No Doubt, Creed, Blink 182, New Found Glory, Relient K, John Mayer, and Train just to name a few. So what I like most about The Comcast Center is the location. It’s right off the highway, but better yet it’s easily accessible by back roads. Every time I go there I can take route 140 the entire way which has no traffic and is about a 20 minute ride from home. The second reason it’s great is because there is because of the pre-show tailgating. It’s always fun to cook up some burgers and sausage and meeting cool people before a great concert. Another reason it’s cool is because of all the vendor displays. Since it’s so large there are always really cool displays with lots of free stuff and who doesn’t like free? Overall, The Comcast Center is an awesome place for summer concerts and outdoor music festivals. It is one of my favorites and will probably stay one of my favorites for a long time to come.
3. The House of Blues – Boston, Massachusetts
The next venue on our list is The House of Blues in Boston, Massachusetts. To start, this venue is great because it’s located right in Boston on the same street as Fenway. It’s always a fun journey taking the subways and trains to get there. I’ve met some cool bands and seen some awesome shows, some including A Day To Remember, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Taking Back Sunday, Flyeaf, and Story Of The Year. There’s many things that make The House of Blues an awesome venue, but every venue has its downfalls as well. I’d have to say the only bad thing about The House Of Blues is that it has very strict security which makes it really hard to take pictures and even enjoy the concert in some cases. They just need to relax a bit on certain things like the fact that you can’t even sit in the hallway during intermission or that you can’t cross certain lines in the venue. Other than that I think it’s a great venue for the sound of the music, the fact that it’s located right in boston, and it’s really cool looking inside. There’s lots of art inside that is just cool to look at and the architecture of the venue is very nice too. There’s a huge open pit on the floor and two large balconies that wrap around the place. It’s a pretty sweet place to see a concert so make sure you head there and see one, just watch out for the security guards!
4. Showcase Live – Foxboro, Massachusetts
Now this next venue I’ve only been to once but that’s not to say that I can’t add it to this list for lack of attendances. Showcase Live in Foxboro unlike the rest on the list is a little bit of a hike for me. It’s about an hour or so to get there. It’s in a really cool outdoor mall that’s located right next to Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play. The last time (and only time) I went there was when I saw Anberlin, Taking Back Sunday, and The All American Rejects! That was such an awesome show and it was free for us because my cousin Ray Jeffrey is Taking Back Sunday’s sound tech. Enough about that, on to why this place rocks! First off like I said before, it’s attached to a sweet outdoor mall and movie theatre which is awesome to walk around before or after the show. Secondly, parking is always a huge concern when attending concerts because nobody want’s to wait hours in concert traffic! Anyways, the parking lot here is immense, so much that it could fit probably 20 times more cars then the venue needs. It’s this way obviously because it’s right next to Gillette Stadium which fits 65,000 or so people. So with that said, traffic is not an issue. Another reason Showcase Live is awesome is because it’s nice and small inside which means no matter where you are in the venue, you can see just fine. There’s even seating with tables around the entire place as well as a bar. Showcase Live is also very clean inside which is always a plus. One last reason I like this place is because the sound quality at shows here is great or at least for this show. It’s not too loud and overpowering and not to quiet and unbalanced. Everything checks out good. All in all I’d have to say Showcase Live in Foxboro although being a bit of a hike for me is a pretty sweet venue and it’s definitely a place you need to see a show at!
5. Bank of America City Center – Providence, Rhode Island
The last venue on our top 5 list is The Bank of America City Center in Providence, Rhode Island. As with Showcase Live, I’ve only been to one concert here but it was a concert to remember. I saw Third Eye Blind with Wild Light and The Swellers I think it was. Luckily it was a gorgeous day a beautiful summer night. The things that are best about this venue are ease of access, location, and the overall concert experience. Like Lupo’s this venue is in Providence and easily accessible from the Providence Place Mall where you can also park when seeing a concert there. The location of the venue is like it’s name, in the center of the city. This was really awesome at night time. As the music played, you could look all around you and see beautiful sky scrapers and city lights that made the show experience awesome. The sound was surprisingly awesome for a large outdoor venue and the lighting was just incredible! I’d have to say the only downside of this venue is that once you enter the venue, you can’t leave and they don’t like to tell you that until you’ve already entered. There’s also no ATM inside and they don’t accept debit cards or didn’t when I went. I lucked out with some cash and was able to get a T-shirt anyways! In conclusion, The Bank of America City Center is definitely an awesome place you have to see a summer concert at, but just make sure to bring some cash if you’re planning on getting some merch or food!