Upstate Concert Hall to move to Downtown Albany
Upstate Concert Hall is working to move to downtown Albany, according to one of its co-owners.
The Clifton Park music venue plans to move into the space formerly occupied by Capital Repertory Theatre. The tentative move is expected to create a shift in the type of shows offered within the Capital City.
Upstate Concert Hall is owned and operated by Stan Levinstone, of SLP Concerts, and Ted Etoll, of Step Up Presents. Their stage has long catered to both the hard rock and alternative scenes over the years. It’s also brought local and regional acts from across all genres.
“We are in negotiations for the downtown space,” said Etoll. “We would love to be there, [but] nothing is confirmed.”
The new footprint is reportedly planned to hold two stages with a joint capacity of 1,300 people. That size falls below a sold-out crowd at the Albany Palace Theatre, but offers a larger venue than several more of the stages dotted throughout downtown. The Hollow and Pearl Street Pub each allowed pre-pandemic crowds of about 300 people. Nonetheless, the prospect of having Upstate Concert Hall as a neighbor seemed welcomed. Dora Philip, co-owner of The Hollow, dropped mention of the news on Stories From a Bar, a local podcast hosted by Chris Osbourne.
“They’re moving right next door,” Philip told Osbourne. “We’re so excited about that, actually. … We were expanding our [room] … but we decided against it, because of what is going on.”
The former theatre is owned by Redburn Development, the same firm that has feverishly redeveloped around Clinton Square and The Hollow in recent years. The development firm has invested more than $80 million to introduce nearly 300 residential units and more than 100,000 square feet of commercial space into downtown, including elegant apartments in both The Knick and The Kenmore.
The new space is anticipated to have a layout similar to The Chance in Poughkeepsie; two rooms, the largest of which on the first floor with the smallest downstairs. Etoll expressed confidence in Redburn, calling its principal Jeff Buell a “music guy who knows what he wants.”
Etoll’s Step Up Presents has ushered acts like Snoop Dog, Lumineers, 21 Pilots into the suburban strip mall setting for well over a decade. Formerly Northern Lights, the venue on Route 146 has been a live music destination since 1996. He’s also responsible for some of the largest shows at The Egg. That arrangement is not expected to change.
“The shows we do at the Palace and the shows we do at The Egg, none of those shows will compete with the club,” said Etoll. “There’s theatre shows versus club shows. It’s going to be exactly what we had in Clifton Park only it’s going to be in downtown Albany.”