How’s that new Joint?
Our first peek inside the Hard Rock venue’s second incarnation
Thu, Feb 26, 2009 (midnight)
Photo: Jacob Kepler
Meet the new Joint. Same as the old Joint? Not exactly. The second incarnation of the Hard Rock Hotel’s iconic music venue looks a lot like the first, a recent hard-hat tour confirms, but will be markedly different in several respects.
Though the room remains a giant rectangle, it’s significantly larger—4,000 capacity, up from 2,000, for unseated-floor shows. That doesn’t mean the new space is twice the size of the old; wraparound second and third levels account for a fair bit of the increased capacity. But there’s no denying, standing at the back of the Joint won’t put you as close to the action as it once did.
Viewing that action could be easier than ever, though. The new Joint retains the old Joint’s graded main level, but instead of three large tiers, the new “floor” is divided into six distinct tiers, each one step up from the footing below. In other words, don’t auto-vacate your spot when the tall trees plant themselves a few feet away; you might already be on higher ground.
Even in their unfinished state, the new second-level skyboxes have it all over the old open balcony, but buyer beware: Fixed rows on the third level might be comfy, but they don’t hang close to the stage the way the House of Blues’ seating does. These are far away and pretty darn high up, if our queasy stomach gets a vote.
Of course, it’s too soon to say how the new venue will sound, but standing onstage peering out across what will soon be a sold-out sea for The Killers (April 17), Paul McCartney (April 19), Kenny Chesney (April 25) and, no doubt, Bon Jovi (April 24), there’s no denying the new Joint already looks like a more majestic—and user friendly—place to see a favorite band.