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  • Becca Nagel

Electric City: A Venue of Music, Drinks, and No Clocks?

By: Rebecca Nagel, Assistant Multi-Media Director

In the center of Downtown Buffalo’s Theater District lies a quaint new concert venue, taking the place of where Tralf Music Hall once sat. Electric City opened its doors for its first show back in February, and since then, I have had the opportunity to see two shows at this freshly constructed venue. That being said, I have had differing experiences during both of the shows, as one was general admission and standing room only, and the other was an assigned seating, sold-out concert. 

Back in March, I saw the group Sammy Rae & The Friends, which was Electric City’s second show ever. Many of the sections within the venue were still under construction and it was obvious that none of the employees knew what they were doing. I mean, who could blame them though? 

The second concert that I attended took place last weekend and was a sold-out Matt Maeson concert. This concert had folding chairs for assigned seats; everyone was sitting cheek to cheek. There was almost no room to move and plenty of drinks spilled, but what is a concert venue without a sticky floor and the smell of stale beer? 

Entering the venue, when they tell you to go to the “box office” to pick up your wristband, they are referring to a singular lady walking around with a clipboard. The lines are thankfully well-labeled, but don’t expect to be let into the venue when doors are supposed to open. They don’t care if there’s a blizzard outside, because security is enjoying the warmth on the other side of the glass doors. 

Speaking of security, based on my skillful eavesdropping tendencies, I believe they are hired from an outside source; still, they aren’t that good. During my first concert, I went through the metal detector and beeped, and the guy just shrugged me off and let me in. During my second concert, my bag wasn’t checked. And don’t even get me started about their enormous bag policy. They’d let you bring a Mary Poppins bag in with no questions asked. If you need security once in the venue, you’ll likely be out of luck because they’re usually lounging in the corner, chatting with their buddies. 

Electric City’s website notes that the venue is cashless and parking is through the Pay2Park phone app, but that’s wrong. Parking was $20 cash only at the venue, and the lot is minuscule, so get there early. 

I would like to end on a positive note, as the venue is still new and has its plus-sides. The bar staff are beyond amazing and helpful. The drinks were a decent price, as well. I’ve paid up to $14 for a single drink at a venue, but I was only charged $8 for a drink at Electric City. For the sober crowd, the bar is fully equipped with non-alcoholic beers and plenty of drinks to make any of your favorite mocktails. 

Overall, the venue has some perks and some pitfalls, but overall, I think it’s heading in the right direction as the newest concert venue in Buffalo. Even between the month of my first concert and my second, I have already seen major improvements and I look forward to seeing how my next concert experience will be different than the last.

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