Jay-Z to Re-Open New York’s Webster Hall With Rarities ShowVariety — Variety Staff
Jay-Z will re-open New York’s Webster Hall with a rarities concert on Friday, April 26. His “B-Sides 2” show will be the first concert at the long-running East Village venue after an extensive renovation. The veteran MC played his first “B-Sides” concert at New York’s Terminal 5 in 2015 as an exclusive show for members of his Tidal streaming service.
A limited number of tickets will be made available for purchase to American Express Card Members beginning Thursday, April 18 at 10AM through 10PM ET. The general public on sale begins Friday, April 19 at 11AM ET and tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.
Other acts announced for the venues first run of shows include Patti Smith and Her Band, Broken Social Scene, MGMT, Empire of the Sun, Old Dominion, Sharon Van Etten, Built to Spill, Real Estate, Chromeo and Big Thief. The building, which has operated as a venue since 1886, has undergone several transformations over the past century. In the 1920s, Webster Hall notoriously held masquerade balls and was nicknamed the “Devil’s Playhouse.” RCA Records purchased Webster Hall in 1954 and renovated the venue to include a state-of-the-art acoustically treated ballroom. Notable artists who recorded in Webster Hall’s studio during this time included Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan (his recording debut), Harry Belafonte, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, and Julie Andrews.
Beginning in the 1980s, Webster Hall reemerged as “The Ritz,” hosting artists such as Eric Clapton with Keith Richards, U2, Tina Turner, The Beastie Boys, The Pretenders, Prince, Sting, Metallica, Aerosmith, KISS, B.B. King and Guns N’ Roses. In 2004, The Bowery Presents began booking Webster Hall with artists including LCD Soundsystem, The National, Modest Mouse, John Mayer and Keith Urban. BSE Global and The Bowery Presents, AEG Presents’ regional partner, acquired the operating rights and assets to Webster Hall in February 2017.
“When we were thinking about who would be the right choice to open this legendary venue, we knew it had to be a world-famous New York City icon,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “No one fits that description better than JAY-Z, who will join an unparalleled list of celebrated performers who have played Webster Hall.”
“The Bowery Presents formed in 2004 when we booked Sonic Youth at Webster Hall,” said John Moore, founder and partner at The Bowery Presents. “We are thrilled to return to our roots, New York City’s oldest music venue, to begin this storied new chapter for artists and fans alike.”
“In renovating one of New York’s most historic and iconic venues, our goals were simple and straightforward; maintain the integrity of the space, modernize it to create an incredible concert experience for fans and performers, and book a dynamic mix of artists in music today,” said Jay Marciano, Chairman and CEO, AEG Presents. “Today’s announcement of JAY-Z to open Webster Hall, along with an eclectic line-up of artists throughout its opening month, achieves all of those goals positioning the venue to continue its success for decades to come.”