A new music venue opened on the Bushwick and Bed-Stuy border, called The Broadway, taking over the space previously occupied by The Gateway. They celebrated their opening night on May 16 with performances by Rose Cologne, cumgirl8, and Brion Starr.
With the closing of Silent Barn a little over a year ago, as well as the recent closing of Secret Project Robot, the border of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick along Broadway has been left hanging without a live music venue.
Enter, The Broadway.
The space has been completely overhauled. The first floor is now a dedicated bar with a full liquor license, pool table, and several deep booths allowing patrons to catch a break between sets. The decor has been simplified and elevated, all dark wood and warm lights, and the staff is friendly and efficient from the bouncer to the bartenders.
The second floor is now the main venue space, and it’s a 180 degree turn from the downstairs. Red and purple lights illuminate a stage littered with Furbies and Pink Panther stuffed animals. There’s a second smaller bar at the back, and though the outside patio was not accessible on the opening night, there are plans to open it once proper licenses have been attained.
Kicking off the night and blessing the stage with its first attended performance was Rose Cologne. Dipping into ‘70s psych and taking a page out of Lana Del Ray’s book of murmured nothings, they drew the crowd up from the first floor and charmed them into dancing with their smooth grooves.
Following up with the most anticipated performance of the night was cumgirl8. Blending disco beats with the aggression of punk, and styled in a wild selection of clothing — think bottomless chaps and tube tops made from old band shirts — they brought a wall of photographers to the front of the crowd.
Not to be outdone, the final band of the night, Brion Starr, showed up in mismatched jumpsuits, with Starr, the front-person, wearing a sequined bodysuit reminiscent of David Bowie.
Playing easy-going rock and roll, and at one point slowly making his way into the crowd, Starr encapsulated the essence of The Broadway, which bills itself as “The Social Club for the Stars.” It’s easy to see how performers like Brion Starr and cumgirl8 will one day reach new heights.
It was not just the performers who fit into The Broadway’s nouveau-star outlook, the audience also came decked out in wild styles, with a great deal inspired by ‘70s fashion. Mixing modern labels like Gucci with vintage tight pants, heeled boots, and berets, the crush of people would not have been out of place on an episode of Soul Train, and could just as easily been found spilling out onto the sidewalk in front of CBGB’s. The fashion was equally in step with the house music, as disco hits such as Infinity’s Party Man kept people moving between sets.
On top of their schedule of live bands, The Broadway will have weekly, vinyl-only DJs spinning on Tuesdays, as well as karaoke on Sunday nights. Their mix of just-about-to break musicians, bona-fide fashion sense, and welcoming vibes leads to a strong impression that The Broadway will be sticking around in the tough-as-nails NYC scene. To stay tuned, follow their Instagram.
All photos courtesy of author.
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