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What’s in a venue? The Brewery

By Aaron Bunn


Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When people take the time to find out if a band is playing at a venue near them, pay the ticket price, including online fees, and then use precious gas to go watch said band perform live, they should expect that the venue accommodating them would be rather noteworthy. In most cases, this is entirely true. However, for Raleigh-based venue The Brewery, this is anything but the truth.

Located just down the street from N.C. State, The Brewery is nearly capable of being missed due to the shear lack of size and structure of the building. Having the appearance of a barn, thus making it even more out of place sitting right next to a modern-day Zaxby’s, The Brewery is not visually appealing.

Parking is easy enough to find, located just behind the building. Getting to the show early would be advised depending on the band’s fanbase. Larger acts tend to procure a line that stretches several hundred feet behind the venue. To expedite the process of getting people inside, management tends to split the line in half, having those with pre-purchased tickets enter through the front and those paying upon entry go through the front. While this is usually appreciated, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose because The Brewery becomes fairly full after only an estimated hundred people have entered.

The first noticeable feature of the venue once inside is the small stage tucked in the front corner. The miniscule dimensions leave little room for a band of four people to maneuver about in a comfortable manner. Furthermore, the stage is only made up of one-foot risers, making it nearly impossible for anyone short to see the action from the back.
Security is nearly nonexistent, unless a rowdy mosh-pit breaks out and escalates into a fight. Other than that, the minimal amount of security just hangs out on the outskirts of the venue floor, which, have I said already, is incredibly small?

Keeping the size of The Brewery in mind, their sound system is sub-par. There are no speaker stacks; instead, there are two fairly sizeable speakers hanging from the ceiling: one to the left of the stage and one to the right. Ear buds are almost a necessity during any show, especially when immediately under the speakers.

Pushing the many negatives of the venue to the side for a moment, there is one rather unique factor about the venue. The Brewery has a nice habit of booking acts that are generally overlooked by some of the bigger venues in the North Carolina area. Having a consistent local crew who are fans of hardcore and metal music, these types of bands are booked quite often.

The Brewery has quite a few drawbacks when it comes to what should be expected of a venue. Nevertheless, it is noticeable that they are trying to make the best of what they have. Having a humbling location in Raleigh, The Brewery is an offering of yet another venue fairly close by for those needing their consistent concert fix.

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