There is something to be said about larger music venues. I’m not talking about a stadium, or arena, but a true music venue that’s only function is welcoming musicians to the stage. A collective experience – standing, dancing, singing – somehow connected to thousands of other fans around you. Whether everyone is belting along with the artist, or putting their hands up when the DJ builds to an epic drop, you’re part of a collective experience. But, the luxury of being in a dark crowd is you’re only one person in a sea of strangers. The people around you are merely people, so you can embrace an individual experience just as much as a shared one. I love the feeling of being completely in my own world, and I find comfort knowing that chances are everyone else is in their own world too. If this is an experience you’d gravitate to, it’s time to check out Boston’s newest music venue “Roadrunner”.
Located across from the Warrior Ice Arena, and New Balance headquarters, this new venue is deceiving from the outside. Although, the line stretching a quarter of a mile outside might be a giveaway. With that said, I give credit to the staff for moving this line along so quickly, even on their opening night. So don’t get discouraged. I’ve seen three shows at Roadrunner since its debut in March 2022; Billy Strings, Chelsea Cutler, and Lane8. All very different vibes, each equally as enjoyable, as the sound quality, lights, and overall ambiance were super high quality.
Roadrunner can host 3,500 people. 2,500 on the floor, and 1,000 upstairs. With the exception of a small portion of reserved Mezzanine tickets, it’s a free for all. If you’re looking for the experience I described above, and want to be deep in the sweaty crowd, the floor is the spot for you. However, Roadrunner has mastered the art of balcony seating, and it should not be overlooked. With massive amphitheater style ledges, you can have a near perfect view of the stage no matter where you end up. The vibes are equally matched on the balcony, with the singing and grooving along. There is no lack of libations at this venue, which features half a dozen bars spread across its two levels. There is also a lounge area on the second floor where you can relax and have a drink, should you need to escape the crowd.
While all of the good outweighs the bad, here are my tips to prepare for Roadrunner.
- The bathrooms are differentiated by paintings (they’re basically hidden on the wall inside the bathroom). The ladies room has just a toilet, while the men’s room has a urinal and a toilet. They are so poorly marked, they had to get a security guard to stand outside the ladies room to point men in the other direction. And yes, I did pee in the men’s room, and yes I got teased by assholes in the bathroom. So, don’t make the same mistake I did.
- Wear sneakers. I’m old, I have a bad back, but even if you’re young and have a great back, the floors are going to challenge you I promise. (Connor’s friend Kurt can attest to this!). Pure concrete, nothing to absorb your soles while you’re bustin a move. Just trust me and pick the supportive option over the fashionable one.
- “No Service” will appear on your phone the second you step inside. So if you’re meeting friends there, make sure you decide on a meeting place, because you won’t be able to reach them once inside. *there isn’t wifi, I checked.
- Have a few drinks beforehand, not unlike other venues, a tall boy is gunna put you out $15.
- You will likely wait in line, and while not for too long, it could be a bit. If inclement weather is expected, be prepared, wear a jacket.
So there ya have it, Boston’s newest music venue. In my opinion, they are absolutely crushing it already, just a little over a month since opening and they have some great shows coming up. My next one is scheduled for October when Remi Wolf graces the stage, but my guess is I’ll be back before then, maybe even a few times. I hope that you check it out too!
P.S. If you’re looking for a more intimate music experience, I cannot speak highly enough of Boston City Winery, as well as Cambridge’s Club Passim. Dinner, drinks and live music at both venues are magical experiences. Both are perfect for a date night or relaxing time with friends. I encourage you to go see someone new, an artist who you don’t know, and appreciate the sheer talent of a musician when you’re close enough to see their fingers strumming the chords.