[This is my Yelp review of the Regattabar in Cambridge – I really feel they totally disrespected both the musicans (NRBQ) and the audience when I went there for the first time last night – please spread the word]
Several friends & I went to see NRBQ at the Regattabar last night. We were all excited, as this was the band’s first appearance in Boston/Cambridge in a very long time (at least 10 years, maybe longer), they have a new album out, and we’d seen them the night before in Pawtucket and they sounded great.
Well, the band sounded great once again – lots of great surprises, as NRBQ always provides, as well as some old favorites and tracks from the new album.
But this isn’t a review of NRBQ, it’s a review of the Regattabar, and the Regattabar let us down last night. Quite frankly, based on what I experienced, the club has no business hosting music events, as it seems the club managment has no passion for music.
Originally this had been scheduled as a two-show night (two hour+ shows most likely), but the second show had been canceled. Great, we thought – more NRBQ, as they often play 2+ hours (the night before, at the Met Cafe in Pawtucket, they easily played for 3 hours, including the encore). About an hour into the show, the club stopped serving drinks and turned off the air conditioning, leaving an almost full house in a sweltering, stagnant room. It was almost as if they were trying to force us into leaving because we were uncomfortable.
But the music was so good, very few people were interested in leaving – the band mixed ballads, barn-burners, and all in-between to keep us interested and smiling and, if we’d been allowed, drinking (which of course would have made the club more money – those drinks they have aren’t cheap!!!).
But eventually the club manager was seen pulling aside the band’s road manager (taking him outside the club even), and it was pretty obvious he was trying to get the band to stop playing – he was huffing & puffing and eventually went to the soundman, apparently getting ready to pull the plug on the music.
The band finished their set, albeit in a truncated manner – no chance to build to a big crescendo for the final song or two – and as soon as the last note finished, the lights came on and the house system music came on; the band wasn’t even off the stage and out the door. There was to be no encore and the audience wasn’t given the opportunity to show the band the love that we were all feeling for them.
Both musicians and audience were completely disrespected by the Regattabar. I doubt I’ll ever set foot in the place again; I’ll certainly think twice or thrice before doing it, and only for a “must see” or “once in a lifetime” type performance.
I really wonder why the Regattabar seems to hate musicians and music fans so much to treat us so poorly.
One star, and only because Yelp won’t let me leave the rating blank.
[on the plus side: I did get to sit next to Peter Wolf, it was great seeing so many friends there, the band was smokin’]