Concrete walls and minimalist decor give a limited impression of the impressive development that lies within Brighton’s newest performance venue, Roadrunner.
The new venue, built by New York-born venue management company The Bowery Presents, is located in the Allston-Brighton area, home to other concert venues like Brighton Music Hall and Paradise Rock Club.
Roadrunner plans to host several high-profile names in indie music this year, including Joji, Japanese Breakfast, Remi Wolf, Steve Lacy and beabadoobee.
During a tour of the venue, Andie Egan, marketing director for Bowery Boston, said the tiered mezzanine sections create “great sightlines no matter where you are.” The floor and mezzanines follow diagonal lines, which Egan said “naturally” motions the guests to face the stage.
“It’s a venue made for short people,” joked Christine Varriale, another marketing director for The Bowery Presents during the tour.
Egan said the venue feels “intimate” and “lived in,” despite its 3,500-person capacity. The stage feels close even from the top tiers of the mezzanine, Egan said.
“Even though it’s brand new, everything still feels vintage,” Egan said.
As concertgoers walk in through the main doors, they get an immediate view of the stage — a feature that Egan said is a rarity among concert venues in the area.
“That was like a bucket list design item for Bowery, and we were excited to make it happen with Roadrunner,” Egan said.
For fans using wheelchairs, Roadrunner’s seating area includes ADA accommodations with a modified rail and clear views of the stage.
“A lot of times, people with ADA seating accommodations get stuck behind someone and then they can’t see the whole time,” Varriale said. “We put them front and center.”
The venue also features a VIP room that guests can visit for an additional fee, with a private lounge, bar, and access to the mezzanine box seats with premium view of the stage.
Roadrunner’s sound technology also projects to all parts of the venue including the balcony, avoiding the dead zones that Egan said are common in other concert venues.
“No matter where you’re standing, it sounds amazing,” Egan said.
The green rooms, each themed after a different Boston sports team, have private full bathrooms that Egan said are a “favorite feature” for the touring artists. Nicole Kanner, the publicist for Roadrunner, said the venue’s green rooms were designed with the performers in mind.
“Most venues do not have accommodations that are this plush,” Kanner said. “Bowery and Roadrunner were really thoughtful about how they created these spaces and really thought about what the artist needed first and foremost.”
The loading dock opens directly into the backstage area, making the process of setting up for the show highly efficient.
“It’s a really awesome load-in,” Egan said. “Artists and touring crews are obsessed with it.”
Egan said it’s a venue for anyone who’d like to come play there.
“We book all genres,” Egan said. “We have the size for every artist, whatever point in their career they are at. Part of the hope with Roadrunner is that we could grow with artists.”
The venue resides just outside Brighton’s center, near the Warrior Ice Arena, restaurants, cafes and the New Balance offices, the latter being the landlord to the new venue.
Egan said Roadrunner has built strong relationships with other local businesses since its opening and is planning partnerships with local businesses, including pizza restaurant Flatbreads.
“It’s a coexisting relationship where we all help each other,” Egan said.
Egan said the landlords at New Balance had the opportunity to make “crazy amounts of money” by turning the space that Roadrunner now occupies into either a Boston Celtics practice facility or into labs, but they chose to bring a music venue to the newly developed area.
“It was important to have music and cultural space in this development,” Egan said. “We are grateful to be the partners that brought it here.”