Live concerts? Do you miss them? It’s looking like the Sultan Room, a new-ish club on Starr Street, is going to be among the first in the neighborhood to open its doors to live music acts, promising a start to socially-distanced shows on its roof, where a loose crowd of masked people will be, according to a press release, provided chairs to sit down. The first of these will start on April 21st.
“A year of living in pandemic times has taught us how much we miss being together,” the club’s owners, who also run the attached and currently-shuttered “imagined Ottoman Empire”-styled restaurant The Turks Inn, said on Thursday. Perhaps since touring remains, nonetheless, untenable, one of the first live acts to rock out Bushwick will be a band called Native Sun, whose publicists managed to net a premiere in FADER back before the pandemic. (“Classic New York rock” “ferocious melodies.”) They kinda sound like Parquet Courts, a band that notably headlined a music festival that year near Ridgewood. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today and are $25 a pop.
Seating will, nonetheless, be quite limited: 42 tickets per show, though in a move that brings to mind the hard working antics of James Brown, the band will be playing two sets per night. The next weekend, the club dug up another local act called Jachary, a singer whose latest long-player was called “funky, heartfelt” by Indie Current. Curiously, the title of his first record was There’s A Virus Going On, so expect a joke about that.
Governor Cuomo’s latest round of executive orders officially allowed entertainment venues to open on April 2nd, with a limit of 200 people in outdoor settings, though according to the terms of the tickets, it appears that the Sultan Room will be running the event like a restaurant, requiring that rockers purchase no fewer than two drinks per person and also one food item in addition to their tickets. (For those interested, the Sultan Room also says that it’s looking to hire new servers and bartenders as well.) In that way the gigs also bring to mind the outdoor standup shows that have been proliferating amid the pandemic.
The Sultan Room may have gotten out ahead of the pack as the first club in the neighborhood to restart the thrills of live acts, but the Detroit DJ GRiZ is allegedly scheduled to spin at Avant Gardner the night that Cuomo’s order takes effect. East Williamsburg’s Elsewhere, which also has an outdoor space, seems to remain closed for now, despite hosting the occasional Andrew Yang rally. Nonetheless, other clubs in the city are slowly getting things going too, in a slow and cautious sputter, curiously devoid yet of any major acts.
Ex-D Generation singer Jesse Malin also has a show scheduled the very day venues are set to sorta-reopen at the Bowery Electric (not to be confused with the different, but nearby Bowery Ballroom). Notably, according to the ticking information, these shows will feature “discounts available for fully vaccinated guests and guests with negative COVID tests,” a curious preview, perhaps, of gigs to come. That same weekend, Kelsey Lu, an LA folkie recently signed to Columbia, has a show at the Shed in Hudson Yards. Elsewhere, Webster Hall is purportedly putting on a JVNA concert that was originally scheduled last November.
Perhaps the Sultan Room’s press release has it best: “we’ve all earned it and we all need it.”
Top photo credit: Sultan’s Room
For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.
Join the fight to save local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber.