Photos by Nicholas Karlin, Words by Brandon Wetherbee
Ready or not, it’s opening week of The Wharf. Whether or not an instant neighborhood is good urban planning is still unknown. It’ll be up for debate for years if not decades. What isn’t up for debate is the quality of The Anthem programming.
We wanted to show you the inside of The Anthem. As of the Friday before the opening, work was in progress. Everywhere on The Wharf was a work in progress. A few days before doors open, everything behind those doors and every other set of doors is getting fine tuned.
Here’s what we can tell you. There’s no bad seat in the house. Since you’ll pay $20 more for “Super Excellent Seats,” there better not be a bad seat in the house. If you’re not willing to part with money to sit, there isn’t a bad place to stand on the second and third (this place is huge) level. If you’re short, you’re going to want to avoid the ground floor, but that’s no different from any other club. One of the reasons why The Anthem is nice for short people is the tiered platforms on the second and third level. There’s a two stair difference between each level so unless the person in front of you is over a foot taller, you’ll still have a very good view of the stage.
Speaking of the stage, it’s big. Very big. And like the 9:30 Club stage, it will be expanded so every show feels as intimate as possible.
The sound is a big question mark. But it’s the same people that run 9:30 Club’s sound so it’s not a worry. We have been told the apartments surrounding the club (literally surrounding the club, it’s in the same building) shouldn’t hear anything.
The meeting spaces are great. You don’t usually think of meeting places but most clubs can’t hold 6,000 people. The outdoor platform attached to the actual The Anthem sign gives you a great view of The Wharf. Other than the stage and cymbal art, it’ll be the most Instagrammed spot of The Anthem.
I doubt I’d be visiting The Wharf often if not for The Anthem. I live in the city so I’ll still frequent the same restaurants that’ll be in the ‘new’ neighborhood. I’m not going to get a hotel room for a place just a few train stops away and I’m not interested in moving. Without an anchor like The Anthem, I’d most likely only visit for The Maine Avenue Fisherman’s Wharf. Beginning Thursday, I’ll have another reason to visit SW. Even if it’s only to see Foo Fighters and QOTSA, it’s doing more to get me down there than any restaurant or retail space.