The most common reaction to The Listening Room's grand opening last night? Head shaking. Not because people disapproved of the room's decor or its layout or, really, anything having to do with the room's re-model at all. Rather, the head shaking seemed more a sentiment of disbelief than anything.
Many of the attendees at last night's show had sneaked a peak into the room over the course its construction during the past few weeks, even just by peering in through the new Club Dada side venue's street window. And, as recently as well, yesterday morning, the room just didn't look ready. Unless, that is, you enjoy watching an acoustic show in a room full of trash, construction scraps and sawdust.
But, somehow, a few minutes after the scheduled opening start time of 7:30 p.m. last night, when the room was finally open for patrons to enter, it did manage to look clean, put-together and ready for its Big Night.
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It helps that most of the Club Dada staff and a number of last night's performers were in the room right up until the doors were opened, setting up chairs, moving couches, hanging drapes, tweaking the lighting and prepping the bar. A certain area singer/producer was even taking a Swiffer to the venue's sharp-looking, new hardwood floors minutes before opening.
And though one could still note some obvious necessary tweaks throughout the night--the room's bar needs a credit card machine, the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling need their dimmer switch fixed, and the sound board could use a better arrangement other than its current, haphazard placement beside the room's small stage--it was, all-in-all, a pretty impressive debut. Maybe not quite CBGB-level impressive, as one performer joked, but certainly surprising, with its wine bar vibe.
And as the performers (Winslow Bright, Stu Dicious, Vanessa Peters and Salim Nourallah) went through their short-ish sets, the crowd audibly shared its enjoyment the room's intimate vibe, interacting with the performers and cheering for the club's visibly stressed (but happy to be done with the preparation) staff and owners at every mention.
Next up for Dada's overhaul, prior to the main room renovations planned in the coming months? Sprucing up the patio, according to several staff members.