Where’s the Rock at Rev Hall?

If you’ve been paying attention to the concert calendar at Revolution Hall in Troy, then you’ve already noticed that it’s been shrinking faster than Tiger Woods’ endorsement contracts.

After tomorrow night’s Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven double-bill, there are only three more shows on the horizon – U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire (Saturday, January 23), Dr. Dog with the Growlers (Wednesday, January 27) and Donna the Buffalo (Friday, February 12).

Apparently, what’s happened is that Garry Brown – who also operates the adjacent Brown’s Brewing Company – took over the reins of the club at the start of the new year.

Unfortunately, it looks like that means there will be less emphasis on the music, in favor of various other events like private parties, corporate gatherings and the recently instituted weekly Monday trivia nights.

Brown is likely to close Rev Hall for several weeks to make various renovations to the nightspot – things like downsizing the stage and lighting systems and installing an additional bar in the lobby.

Let’s hope that Rev Hall roars back. It would be a damn shame to lose such a wonderful rock club…

  1. Bob LaBlaw says

    Garry Brown owned Rev Hall and 425 River. Garry ended Rev Hall in December of ’05. Garry rented the space to John Chiara after and John opened Revolution Hall in April of 2006. During Chiaras tenure of Rev Hall the building was sold to Stephen Cooper. This ended all of Browns ties to Rev Hall. Cooper took over Rev Hall business from Chiara in September-ish of 2008. Cooper then ran Rev Hall with same management as Chiaras version. Brown has now bought Rev Hall the business from Cooper. Cooper still owns 425 River.
    Rev Hall wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for Chiara, Kingsley, and Cooper.

    I expect walls to be taken down and tables set up to join the dining room to the club
    Revolution Hall.. the new home of Dinosaur Jr BBQ overflow.

  2. Gregg Stacy says

    I can assure you that Revolution Hall is going to roar back. Indeed, Brown’s Brewing Company has taken over the management of Rev Hall and we intend to continue operating at full capacity even during any planned construction enhancements. Our temporarily light schedule is due in part to the transition as well as time of year, but we are now actively booking music and hope to be back up to full calendar strength within the next month.

    I can also assure you that we will not have less emphasis on music and in fact, the addition of food in Rev Hall will help elevate it to the levels that legendary venues like the Iron Horse in Northampton and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia are – only better. The addition of food will also allow us to pursue other opportunities like catered private parties and events. Those opportunities will not replace live music in Rev Hall.

    Revolution Hall is a coverted musical and architectural gem not only for the City of Troy but the Capital Region in general. Bear with us – we’re working as fast as we can to get Revolution Hall back up to speed and better than ever. In the meantime – spread the word on the shows that we’re currently presenting. Tomorrow’s Cracker show is going to be a great one.

    Gregg Stacy – Director of Marketing & Sales

  3. Greg says

    Bob, thanks for making all of that a bit clearer. Yes, certainly John Chiara and Jared Kingsley both did an excellent job of building Rev Hall into the area’s top showcase club. And, of course, the impending opening of Dinosaur BBQ is quite likely a key factor in the current revamping of the hall.

    Gregg, that’s good news. I hope it all works out. And, yes, I’ll be there for Cracker, too.

  4. Gregg Stacy says

    An additional reply to Bob LaBlaw – Garry Brown has not bought the business from Stephen Cooper. Brown’s Brewing Company has entered into an agreement to manage the Revolution Hall business that Stephen Cooper continues to own. No walls will be taken down at Revolution Hall to connect to the adjoining Brown’s Brewing Taproom. We will formally announce the changes that we plan on making once permits are approved. The changes are all very positive. They will not diminish the integrity of Revolution Hall in any way.

    I agree wholeheartedly – Revolution Hall wouldn’t be the business that it is today without Jared Kingsley and John Chiara. They’ve done an excellent job.

    Gregg Stacy

  5. Oh Troy-o-saurus Rex Where are you? says

    Cant wait for Dinosaur BBQ to come to town, obviously neither can the City of Troy that spent how many thousands of dollars to sponsor another bar/restaurant? Browns food and service have plummeted severely, it’s about time their complacency is challenged. Extinction may be in the future for people that don’t have their shit together. Cant wait for some ribs!! yummmm!

  6. nickasdfkjhlkdsf says

    sad and curious. Personally I don’t want to eat burgers at a rock show, that’s why I go to browns for food before a show and then go get my rock on. Tables on the dance floor seriously diminish the ability for the Macarena to really take place. Please keep the music alive… it would be a true hazard to the area to falter since the revolution hall’s influence is far broader than the capital district… spectators of past shows have traveled as far as buffalo, NYC, Burlington, and farther for a single night of music. truly sad to see that momentum slowed in our already sedated economy. Sorry to see the extremely friendly, talented, and personal staff over there disappear as well.

  7. CC says

    Sorry, nickasdfkjhlkdsf, I disagree. Not everyone wants to stand up all night watching a show. If the owners’ aim is to bring something like Northhampton’s Iron Music Hall to Troy, I say BRING IT ON!

  8. Gregg Stacy says

    Hi nickasdfkjhlkdsf – for the record, the vast majority of Rev Hall’s talented and friendly staff are staying on. Couldn’t do it without them.

  9. Go Phish says

    Gregg… please say this means we’ll be able to go out on the deck again?

  10. matt says

    long live rev hall of old… here’s to john and jared!!!

  11. MichelleH says

    This sounds like a positive change to me. I worked for Garry back in the day when Brown’s first opened and he was just the owner who brewed the beer. 🙂 I trust that his management will keep the spirit of Rev Hall and improve on it. Personally, I often choose NOT to see a band at Rev Hall because a) there is no place to sit or even throw your coat (when it’s too cold to leave it in the car) and b) almost every time I go there, they run out of whatever I’m drinking. Garry, make sure you keep that bar stocked! Throw in some higher end booze (e.g. good tequila) and a number of us will be happy.

    Good luck with all the changes!

  12. Tferg says

    I’d preffer to see a calendar like the one at Iron Horst before I’d want a menu like one. If the addition of food helps bring some better acts to the region more frequently, then so be it!

  13. Bob LaBlaw says

    when’s the last time you were at Rev Hall, when Garry owned it before?
    Seriously.. what was the last show you went to? Black 47?

  14. amp says

    People (customer base) are starting to feel alienated.
    The rumor mill is churning.
    Disclosure of the planned changes will alleviate their concerns, and allow them to feel part of Rev Hall’s transition.
    There may be more emotions vested in the establishment than anyone can quantify.
    Tread gently…


  15. Paul says

    I don’t know if Gregg Stacy is still following this post, but I just wanted to say that getting a venue in the Capital Region of Iron Horse-like quality has been something I’ve been wishing for a long, long time. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Revolution Hall in the near future!

    (Also psyched that Dr Dog is playing next week!)

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