I went to see one of my all time musical heroes here last night (Peter Hammill). The building itself is lovely, very atmospheric, but the evening was completely spoiled for me for two reasons.
One is that the staff there seem to lack any form of social skills, they tend to treat all of us paying customers like naughty children. The tone was set early on in the evening when we moved a chair out of our way and one one the (seeming tens) of staff who seem to hang around watching the audience without much to do, mumbled t us "...you only had to ask....", seems it's not allowed to move chairs. There was also a restriction on taking flash photography of the show but one of the staff jumped right at a group of people who were taking flash photographs of each other, around an hour before the show was due to start. . I honestly felt like I was back at school, we were frightened to move out of our seats!
Worse, it was a quiet, semi acoustic show and the show was completely spoilt by this venue having no idea how to host a show like this. There is a noisy bar in the main hall and the bartenders clinked glasses and opened and shut the till throughout the performance making loads of noise and generally disrupting the show. Even worse still, the bunch of staff who seem to just generally hang around and tell everyone what to do started to goof around during the performance, obviously not enjoying the show themselves, they started disrupting it for the audience by goofing around and talking in loud voices to each other - unbelievable!
Oh and also, this venue is on the borders of the Tenderloin which, if you don't know, is San Francisco's inner city bad area, so you need to be very careful as you walk to the venue. As we walked there what sounded like a gun shot went off and we had to negotiate our way past some very scary looking characters, obviously high.
Pros: Nice building
Cons: Terrible place to watch music, horrible staff