Yesterday saw us heading to Steinway Hall to look around at the impressive showrooms and the beautiful pianos. The reason for our visit was not only to have a sneaky look around but Harrison also used one of their practice rooms to test out the Steinway pianos and rehearse her set for the gig in the evening at Rockwood Music Hall in the East Village. Looking around Steinway & Sons made you appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into making these incredible instruments. Each Steinway grand piano, for example, takes nearly a year to create.
Then we headed to Rockwood Music Hall as Harrison was performing at 7pm. The quirky little venue had a warm vibe and a great atmosphere. The curved stage and dimmed lighting made it intimate and welcoming. There was room for a baby grand piano, a drum kit, double bass and numerous singers. Peter, the sound engineer mentioned that they had fit 7 band members on the small stage before! The bartenders came around to everyone individually to take drinks orders and they also passed around a tip bucket near the end of each set for the performers. Bands were playing from 6pm through to 1am, but something that was strange to us Brits was that the bands tended to leave after their performance rather than sticking around to support the next act. London bands are quite big on gig etiquette so we weren’t used to that. It was nice to catch up with Ade Adepitan for one evening as he had been filming in NYC for the BBC and came along for Harrison’s gig.
We also liked that the sound and light booth were on a little platform above the entrance. The sound engineer had to climb up the wall in order to get into it! Rockwood Music Hall is clearly a very popular venue for bands and songwriters. The audience were attentive and that is ultimately what you want!
We were invited down to the Hill & Dale for the after-party. I would probably say that it’s my new favourite bar. The lovely owner, Elliott sorted us out with a round of shots on the house. I can’t remember what the shots had in them but I know they tasted amazing! The tasty drinks accompanied by the retro decor (even the restroom was cool) and even better music choices, made for a really fun evening. Music from the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, and Otis Redding were playing in the background and it was a top playlist. Definitely my kind of bar!