Last night I had the pleasure of touring of the new Knitting Factory Concert House in Reno and I have to say ... wow! It is legit. This is really happening.
This venue is kick ass! I'm not sure what I was expecting but what I saw was far more than expected. This venue doesn't double as a skate park, or a warehouse, or a coffee shop, or a record store - it's all about live music. It looks so professional in comparison to all the other Reno venues I have been in over the past 17 years.
Have you driven by lately? The last time I did was about two weeks before Christmas and it still looked pretty much like that Rocky's place that used to be there. If you drive by now it is completely transformed. There are new doors, a converted marquee and new signage is going in. My favorite part of the new facade is the trademark Knitting Factory logo (as seen above) out front, there are two that are done in black, grey and white mini mosaic tiles. The location of the venue is 211 N. Virginia Street, go drive by and take a gander.
The general Manager Dean was very nice and accommodating in giving a tour to this small time blogger and her lady friend. He started by showing us the downstairs, because that's where the offices are. The "green room" area or talent room is really swank. They have a pool table, a food area, 4 dressing rooms, a tile shower and bathroom. It is very nice compared to the (albeit few) venue talent rooms I have been in. There is also a huge walk in vault down there from one of the previous casino occupants, Dean said they are thinking of turning it into something cool like a bar for the bands.
The venue space still looks very much in progress, but I have no doubt that it'll be all shined up and polished by opening night. The team there at the Knitting Factory is working hard on the lights, the sound, painting, setting up the bars, getting flat screen TVs hung and a big projection screen near the rear of the club set up so everyone has a view of the stage.
The stage is about chest level, it sits pretty much right up against the front of the building, in fact Dean was saying that the main entrance unless you are in a band or have VIP pass is in the back of the building in the alley. Good to know.
They were testing some sound in there last night and there was nice clarity in the room.
I would compare the layout and size to the Great American in SF. Actually, it's probably a bit bigger than the Great American but not as big as the Fillmore -- same layout but right between the two in size.
Not sure what else to say other than ... hallelujah Reno! This has been a long time coming. Music heads, you are going to love it. I predict many a good times will be had in this venue by myself and many many others!
A big thank you to Dean for the tour and the comp tickets!
It's going to be a good year for live music Reno! (I have to admit - I never imagined myself typing that on this blog). Hells to the yeah!
The venue site can be seen here: http://re.knittingfactory.com/
I've already got three sets of tickets on the fridge for upcoming shows. Woot!