Don Law’s New Hall

Harpers Ferry in the Boston suburb of Allston, Mass., may be gone as of Oct. 31, but the room itself will continue to present live music as Brighton Music Hall under the auspices of Don Law’s Boston Opera House Ventures.

With a fresh coat of paint and new sound system, Brighton Music Hall will open around the third week of January. Its first confirmed show is Little Dragon Jan. 19, according to talent buyer Ryan Vangel.

“In Boston, we have 250,000 college kids that come back to school from break that weekend and to try and do anything from the holiday starting before Christmas through late January is almost pointless,” Vangel told Pollstar. “So we’re trying to get up and running on that third week of January and go through spring, which will be very busy.”

Brighton Music Hall won’t undergo major renovations that will affect its 400 capacity. “We’re updating it to the point where bands are going to be happy with the amenities and so will the patrons that go there,” Vangel said. “Structurally, it’s going to be the same room.”

The venue will continue to serve a role in artist development, essentially serving as a “feeder club” to Boston’s 850-capacity Paradise Rock Club, which Vangel books in addition to his duties with Live Nation New England.

Vangel stresses, however, that Brighton Music Hall is not a Live Nation venue, but is under the umbrella of Boston Opera House Ventures, the company formed by Law when he bought the Boston Opera House, Paradise Rock Club and Orpheum in May.

“I have multiple hats,” Vangel explained, saying he has a shared services agreement that allows him to book on behalf of both companies.

The booking arrangement enables Vangel and his staff to fill an artist development niche that supports local talent in moving to rooms like the Paradise and Orpheum.

“We’ve been looking for years for that developmental room. I think we could go down to doing shows in a basement, but this just seemed like a logical step with a reasonably sized room,” Vangel said. “We can’t do every show a band does, but it’s at a decent level where artists should just be starting to get an agent and touring nationally.

“If it’s their first time in Boston, this would be a perfect-size venue. The hope is that the band would play there and then move on to Paradise.
“We’re going back to the old-school model of building them up from the small club to the bigger venue.”