T5 Review with The National

The National at Terminal 5 (October 11, 2007)
The National at Terminal 5

Last night Brooklyn’s The National inaugurated Terminal 5, the Bowery Presents’ newest and largest venue, before a crowd of 3000 strong clubgoers (with a few less hipsters than usual and a few more investment bankers). Upon walking into Terminal 5, my first impression was, “man this place is huge.” And it really is, it’s got three levels, two balconies, five bars, and a massive stage. So what’s the verdict? If you were to ask me where I’d rather see a show, Terminal 5 or The Roseland, my answer would definitely be Terminal 5. But, if you were to ask where I would most like to see a show in The Bowery’s impressive portfolio of venues, the answer would still have to be The Bowery Ballroom or The Music Hall of Williamsburg, sorry folks, T5 is just a little too darn big for my liking.

As for The National, they delivered the goods as usual. After I lost my spot at the front for photos, I ended up on the third floor and became a little disengaged from the show, so I don’t have much to say about it. You can however, check out my full flickr set of photos from the show over here.

The National

I caught most of St. Vincent’s set (pictures to come), but I honestly wasn’t that thrilled by it. I didn’t really care for her record, and I thought her live performance might make me discover what everyone seems to love about her, but it didn’t. I’m not saying she’s not talented, it’s just not my thing I guess.

Off the top of my head, here’s how I break down the pros and cons of the venue.

    The Good:
  • It has good site lines.
  • The stage is massive.
  • There are plenty of places to sit and watch the show (and even more places to just sit and hang out).
  • There were ample bars and bartenders to serve the crowd (two on the second and third floors, and one on the main floor).
  • The sound was good.
  • It has a photo pit.
    The Bad:
  • It’s really big, and therefore not very intimate (nothing shocking here).
  • It has more of a “club vibe” than any of the Bowery’s other venues.
  • The main floor had a little bit of a crowd flow issue (ie. not being able to move), especially near the bar.
  • The main floor bar is a little small for the main floor crowd. (As an aside, I was told the massive bar on the main floor was removed because it blocked sight lines. To compensate, a much larger bar was installed on the second floor).
  • Eventhough they I’m sure they did a lot of renovations on this place, it’s hard to tell where all the money went. The room still looks a little bit run down and the first floor bathroom I visited was certainly nothing to write home about.

From the Bowery’s point of view, T5 makes perfect sense— keep ’em in the fold for as long as you can. I suppose if my favorite band was playing T5, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back, but until then, I’ll see you at Union Hall ;-). What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment.

I don’t know, what did you think?

More pictures of Terminal 5 after the the jump.

Terminal 5
Terminal 5

Terminal 5

Terminal 5

Terminal 5

Terminal 5

Terminal 5

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