[Editor: Given the wild popularity of this blog entry, we have updated it and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. Check out our full concert reviews and pictures at http://www.parklifedc.com.]
With a program dubbed Super Excellent™ Seats, The Anthem (901 Wharf St. SW, DC), the big sister venue to 9:30 Club, strives to keep the best seats in the house out of the hands of scalpers, vowed owner IMP.
IMP, an independent concert production company, opened The Anthem at the newly redeveloped The Wharf in Southwest DC with a performance by the Foo Fighters on Thursday, Oct. 12. For that and future shows, IMP Chairman Seth Hurwitz promised to commit the Super Excellent Seats to fans. The seats are depicted in yellow in the above graphic, which reveals the scalable floorspace in The Anthem at the maximum capacity of 6,000.
“These seats are so ridiculously great that we decided to give fans the opportunity to buy them for each show, even when it’s general admission,” said Seth in a statement.
“So, like first class on airplanes, sporting events, and the usual hedonistic situations, it costs more. But, in this case, we are keeping the best seats for real fans, and making sure these tickets don’t get in the hands of scalpers,” he emphasized.
Super Excellent Seats are non-transferrable. Concert attendees must pick up their Super Excellent Seats tickets at The Anthem box office on the night of the show. According to IMP, these balcony seats are uniquely angled to face the stage at the exact perfect position.
In an earlier statement, IMP emphasized the void by The Anthem when it opened its doors. Melanie Cantwell, who books 9:30 Club and the Lincoln Theatre, said DC is lacking a true concert hall that can provide the best experience for audiences and bands alike when the crowd is expected to exceed a capacity of 1,200 (the limit at both 9:30 Club and Lincoln).
“When acts get large enough that they outgrow the 9:30 Club or Lincoln Theatre, they want to move up,” said Melanie. “I’m always asked, ‘Where should the band play next in DC?’ With no other options, bands have typically played venues built for sporting events, where the action is designed for center court, not the end of the venue where the stage is. Those aren’t ideal site lines or sound experiences.
“So Seth is building a venue that finally allows acts to take the next step. The Anthem is built specifically for live music, where a fan’s experience will include a perfect view of the stage no matter where they are. Rather than seats that face each other, like at a basketball arena, the seats in The Anthem are angled to give the ideal view of the stage. There’s not a bad seat in the house. There’s nothing out there like it,” she said.
IMP is building The Anthem at a cost of $60 million as part of The Wharf, the waterfront development by PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette. The Anthem will have a flexible capacity of 2,500 to 6,000 in various seated and general admission configurations. This blog discusses the Super Excellent Seats in The Anthem’s maximum 6,000-capacity configuration.
For more information on The Anthem, visit its website at http://www.TheAnthemDC.com.