The 5,000-person concert space will open to the public this weekend.
MGM Music Hall at Fenway, a state-of-the-art music venue located next to Fenway Park, officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon.
Here’s the concert lineup for Boston’s new MGM Music Hall
The ceremony capped years of planning for the new 5,000-person venue, an effort spearheaded by Fenway Music Company, a collaboration between Fenway Sports Management and entertainment giant Live Nation, which also owns and operates the nearby House of Blues.
The 91,500 square-foot venue’s unconventional triangular shape, a necessity of its location on the “Triangle Lot” at the corner of Lansdowne and Ipswich Streets, meant the team at Somerville’s DAIQ Architects had to be creative in its layout. But much like the neighboring ballpark, the end result is an intimate space in which no seat is farther than 110 feet from the stage.
One advantage to the triangular space is the lack of slapback, an auditory echoing effect which can happen in square venues “because of surfaces that are directly across from each other,” according to Live Nation New England Chairman Don Law.
Split into four levels, the venue offers ample space on the floor for general admission shows, as well as two levels of auditorium seating and “box” seats along the railing, all of which have excellent sight lines to the stage. There are also ample food and drink areas throughout the venue, three lounge areas, and an open-air roof deck with views of Lansdowne Street and downtown Boston.
MGM Music Hall will cater to artists of all stripes, with plans to use the space for some of pop music’s biggest acts as well as community programming such as student performances for the nearby Boston Arts Academy. For smaller shows, seating can be added and removed to the ground floor area.
MGM Music Hall is positioning itself as the premier option for mid-sized music venues, offering a space that is smaller than arenas like TD Garden but larger than House of Blues (2,500 people), Roadrunner (3,500), and Big Night Live (2,000 ).
Following the ribbon-cutting, a handful of VIP guests settled into floor seats as Springfield native Michelle Brooks-Thompson belted out a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
Taking the stage first to deliver prepared remarks was FSG Chairman John Henry, who spoke of his early life as a musician and his dreams for the new venue. (Henry also owns Boston Globe Media Partners, the parent company of Boston.com).
“I started adulthood as a professional musician. That was the central focus of my life throughout my 20s, all the way back through high school,” Henry said. “I developed other interests over time, but the musician in me standing here today could not be prouder of this new home for the world’s greatest artists, as well as up-and-coming artists who will share their craft with our community.”
Music playing as scheduled speakers walked to and from the stage included tunes by artists set to play MGM Music Hall in the coming weeks. Some of the acts set to take the stage for the first few shows at the venue are hard rock group Godsmack (August 27), singer-songwriter James Taylor and his All-Star Band (August 29 and 30), pop star Bruno Mars ( September 7, 9, and 11), and rapper Lil Nas X (September 18).
The earliest exploratory plans for MGM Music Hall were announced back in 2018, and a ground-breaking ceremony took place in late 2019, only a few months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking back, Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy marveled at how far the project had come since then.
“It was a cold November morning. We stood in what was an empty triangular parking lot that served as a service yard for Fenway, and we took photos shoveling mounds of dirt while trying to imagine what this space might become,” Kennedy said. “I have to say, at that time, no rendering could do justice to what the experience of this place has become.”
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