NIGHTMARE on 14th St. - NEW YEAR'S EVE at the Boulder Theater 2013!
I have been in Boulder since the 80s and over the years have collected a string of very pleasant memories of attending events at the Boulder Theater. In fact, one of the best New Year's celebrations that I have ever attended was at the Theater headlined by the SAM BUSH BAND. So based upon the memory of that evening, my wife and I ponied up the $90 apiece for tickets for this year's New Year's Eve show featuring Sam Bush and the Yonder Mountain String Band. It was not long into the evening though that we both realized that what we had actually purchased was admission into the second circle of CONCERT HELL!
- The evening began with standing in line for 40 minutes, outside in the cold and awash in a dense cloud of second hand cigarette smoke courtesy of the never ending parade of bums and ticket scalpers.
- THE WAIT
Finally we were admitted, we chose the balcony seating and then the wait began. An hour and a half later the band finally finds its way to the stage. FYI, choose your balcony seating carefully as more than a few of the wooden arm rests are missing from seats leaving a very uncomfortable cast iron support to try and rest your arm on.
- HORRIBLE SOUND
Whoever the theater has engineering the sound should be fired immediately. Bluegrass vocalists naturally skew more towards high pitched voices. The sound engineer had the gains so high and unnecessarily loud that listening was not only painful but attempting to discern the words was impossible.
- THEN THERE WAS THE LIGHT SHOW!
As if the miss mixed sound wasn't painful enough to endure, someone within the Theater's management with spending authority decided to acquire a whole lot of very expensive dance club style lighting fixtures with which to further torture the patrons. It was distracting, extremely irritating and completely irrelevant to what was being performed. Please bear in mind these were focused, very high intensity, lighting effects that were sprayed all over the interior of the theater. The overall effect would have been laughable if it had not been so irritating.
- NOW WE GET TO THE SMOKE!
Having second cigarette smoke forced upon me is one of my personal "hot buttons". Pot smoke - not so much, however there is a limit when we are talking about an indoor venue where smoking of any type is supposedly prohibited. The Theater management did nothing whatsoever to enforce the no smoking prohibition. In fact, thirty minutes into the performance and the cloud of smoke was so dense, both of us were having trouble distinguishing the performers on the stage.
- RESTROOM HELL,
The Boulder Theater clearly could not care less when it comes to accommodating their patron's needs. The two restrooms are woefully inadequate. So what did Theater Management decide to do? They opened up a restaurant (George's) that feeds its patrons directly into the Theater's cramped restrooms. Then there is the "women in the men's room issue", call me "old school" but just as men are not permitted in a women's restroom, women have no business using a men's restroom. The Boulder Theater clearly doesn't care!
- NO CONTROL
If you attend this venue expecting a seat with an enjoyable view of the performers, think again! The first floor under the stage is a "Mosh Pit" - good luck!
The balcony which should be reserved for those who wish to watch was hideously overcrowded with out of control, inebriated patrons jumping around making it impossible for us to enjoy the concert. In fact, my wife had a drink spilled down here back without so much as an apology.
- IN CONCLUSION
The Boulder Theater stands as an historic landmark that embodies a tremendous amount of civic pride on the part of the city. However, those who are responsible for its current management should truly be ashamed of themselves for letting it slip as far as it has. I would even go as far as suggesting investigations by the Fire Dept., Health Dept., etc. as well as someone looking into potential building code violations. Personally, as much as it pains me to say this - I am done with the Boulder Theater.
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