Favorite local spots for music/acoustic snobs?

troy savings bank music hall

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is renowned for its acoustics.

Kate emails (link added):

Every since Rev Hall closed, I've been on the hunt to find a comparable music venue with the excellent acoustics that Rev Hall provided. Besides the Egg (which Jon McLaughlin recently told his audience that the sound was so good, he didn't want to stop playing), I've yet to find one that impresses me. Northern Lights, Red Square, and Jillians bring in the bands, but offer terrible acoustics. I fear this may turn off bands from coming to Albany, even though we have an amazing music scene and even more amazing music lovers here. I was hoping your readers had some suggestions.
I just love going to see live shows in the Capital District (all kinds of music). I follow some local bands, but I also love discovering new music too. Maybe some local musicians can share their favorite venues to play at. I hope I'm not the only one in Albany who is an acoustics snob.

Got a favorite place to see music/play music? Maybe a spot that wouldn't immediately spring to mind for people? Please share!


Best acoustics in the area:

The concert hall at EMPAC - unbelievable acoustics
Troy Music Hall
The Egg
The Whisperdome First Unitarian Society - A Place For Jazz series

Oh, forgot to mention Palace Theatre

It was a sad day when I found out Rev Hall was bought out and turned into a place to hold "Special events". Now we're forced to go to places like Jillian's for live music. You gotta be kidding me.

You were all we had Rev Hall.......you were all we had.

My husband's band (Oobleck) just played at Valentines for the first time and the sound wasn't half bad. They had trouble hearing themselves, though..

Savannahs has terrible sound. The sound folks crank it up WAY too loud. :(

Putnam Den was okay. It's a little boom-y.

Club Helsinki down in Hudson has very good sound and actual, experienced people running the sound.

Dinosaur BBQ had OK sound if you're there when there aren't a lot of people sitting at the bar flapping their gums.

There are 4 great acoustic spaces in the region now. TSBMH is, of course, spectacular. Three academic spaces come pretty close to that sound. At RPI - EMPAC; at Skidmore - The Zankel Center; at The College of St. Rose - The Massry Center.

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is fantastic. Andrew Bird told the audience there last month how much he was enjoying playing because it sounded so good.

The Linda at Central and Quail has some good stuff. The couple of shows I've seen there sounded decent. The Armory has some pretty big shows now too.

I had no idea Rev Hall closed!!

The Linda is a good place to see shows of all different sorts and the acoustics are solid. The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall earns it's rep. But EMPAC is the place to see live music of any kind in the area.

If your musical tastes lead more towards folky/acoustic music, WAMC's Linda Norris Auditorium (aka The Linda) in Albany, Club Helsinki in Hudson and Cafe Lena in Saratoga all have great sound!

I loved our Rev Hall, not just because they knew how to fill the space with the beautiful musical sound, but because their ticket prices were a reasonable price.

I love all the above mentioned spaces but sometimes the prices are out of my price range, and also a lot of them don't lend themselves to dancing.

May from this the new owners of Rev Hall, might open up the venue again for music enthuiest!

For the Rev Hall fans. What shows did you see there? Were they sold out or at least well attended?

@Code Monkey: I saw the Wood Brothers & Yonder Mountain String Band there (and maybe some others? I forget) and they were packed.

It's not in the immediate Capital Region, but the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton is the most acoustically perfect venue I've ever been in....I saw M. Ward and Lambchop there several years ago and literally felt like a cloud of music was filling up the place and giving me a big hug.

The most real and intimate musical experiences I've had lately are in a small out of the way cafe. There's an amazing variety of music each Friday night from World Beat to CelloBop to Cuban Latin Jazz to Folk Rock to Blues and Swing. Check out the scene at Carmen's Cafe in Troy at 1st and Adams - just South of Russell Sage Campus. They serve incredible tapas and sangria.

So, here's the thing. You're confusing good sound with good acoustics. All the places you mention have decent enough acoustics to get great sound from. Acoustics=the way that particular room reflects sound. What you're actually complaining about (and rightly so!) is sound refinforcement.. ie: The PA and the sound guy. Albany has very few actual PA systems in any of it's venue's (next to none in bars) and the couple places that have PA's have soundmen that can't hear. The one place that actually had pretty poor acoustics was Rev Hall! But because they had a great sound system and a decent sound engineer, it tops your list. Red Square and Jillian's both have pathetic sound systems and sound men that don't do very much to help the situation. Northern Lights is decent enough, and I've heard that place sound fine, but it was entirely due to the soundman doing his job, and not the natural acoustics of the place.. My point is this- If any place cares about having live music, they need to invest a little money in a PA, rather than assuming a band will bring one. And then they need to hire someone who actually knows how to work a PA. Jillians and Bayou are both places that should sound much better than they do, but skimpy pa budget and stoned soundmen ruin them.
Having said all that, there were many places mentioned with great acoustics-
The Egg, The Massry Center, Club Helsinki. They were all designed with music in mind, but they would all be worthless without a good PA and the soundman to make it go!

I can say pretty confidently that both The Linda and The Egg are NOT acoustically good spaces. The Linda is a challenging room, and while it's been treated somewhat, and has about $1million invested in the PA, the Egg was in no way designed for sound. What you hear is experts who love their craft. I'm proud to say that I've worked with great people in both rooms, and also watched amateures make a mess of both. Skillful audio people are much harder to find than "sound guys." My hat is off to anyone who has left the impression that The Linda an The Egg are good sounding spaces.

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