Oh, The Brick. You'd have to be living under or smacked by one to have missed the not-so-positive press and unflattering first impressions about downtown's newest music venue this week.
On Monday, The Brick hosted Jane's Addiction as their inaugural show and many customers waited outside in a serious downpour (and watched the band on TV monitors in the basement) due to a very oversold venue.
City Pages attended the soft opening of the venue the previous Thursday and some of the problems seemed sorely evident from the jump. Poor architectural planning (and thus, poor sightlines) stands out as the major flaw, with a narrow entryway and just one set of stairs to get to the top floor and the bathrooms. The decor is timid at best and doesn't help to establish its character (it looks a bit like a two-story Buffalo Wild Wings). The venue's predominant highlight, however, is its crystal-clear sound -- but without clear views to the stage, we may as well sit home and crank up the stereo. The live music experience remains a necessarily visceral one.
The Brick heard these and other customers' complaints. The venue's general manager, Jeff Kehr, sent a press release tonight offering to right some of the wrongs felt by local music fans who attended the show. Here it is in full:
To our customers who attended Jane's Addiction at The Brick on March 19: We owe you an apology for the issues you encountered during the show. Live music experiences represent some of the greatest moments of our lives and, this was obviously not one of ours. Our goal in bringing a new music venue to the Twin Cities was to provide fans with the best possible concert experience, and despite a thundering performance from Jane's Addiction, we know we were unable to achieve this greatness on Monday night. We have an obligation to make this right for our customers, which is why we are offering all Jane's Addiction ticket holders the choice of a refund, including service fees, or tickets to an upcoming show of their choice (based on availability). We are listening to your comments and feedback and are committed to making the necessary changes at The Brick to ensure that your next concert experience will be much more enjoyable. To receive your refund or tickets to an upcoming show, please e-mail a copy of your ticket(s) and confirmation to [email protected] Or you may physically mail a copy to: The Brick Attn: Customer Service 111 5th Street North Minneapolis, MN 55403 Please indicate your choice of refund, or the name of the upcoming show you'd like to attend. Please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] with any comments, questions or suggestions about your experience at The Brick. We acknowledge that we have a long way to go to earn back your business and are committed to regaining your trust. Sincerely, Jeff Kehr General Manager The Brick [email protected]
Whether the Brick's first customers will return again is anyone's guess at this point, but the above offer is most definitely a step in the right direction. To have another successfully operating music venue downtown only adds to the city's vibrancy, so we hope the venue pulls itself out from under the recent chatter and starts fresh with the local music community.