Reunion Tower's First Foray Into The Live Music Game Didn't Live Up To Its Potential.
One of the most prominent features in the Dallas world-renowned skyline, The Reunion Tower and its 470-foot-high GeoDeck is used primarily as a tourist attraction. During the day, visitors can pay to ride the glass elevators to the observation deck for some of the best views of Dallas. However, the Reunion Tower management wants to utilize the space for more than just a tourist attraction, and they are now beginning a monthly concert series in the small space.
The first of these went down this past Friday, and featured Dallas alt-rock act Northern National, which was celebrating the release of its new “Love Is Fire” single. It is an interesting idea on the surface, though the execution of the inaugural show in the series might prove otherwise.
Before the concert started, people were allowed the chance to tour the space both inside and out. The interior has a modern, nightclub VIP lounge feel with geometric décor lining the inner wall, lit by a slowly shifting spectrum of LED lights, and the entire outside wall was made of glass. There were also dozens of touchscreens lining the outside wall with interactive activities centered on The Reunion Tower's history and Dallas geography. Also, there was a well-stocked bar, which many put to good use. The most impressive part of the space was the view. One could step out onto the outer deck of the venue and have a 360-degree view of Downtown Dallas, which was stunning on this cool, clear night. In theory, seeing a show with this as the backdrop sounds like a dream.
But, once it was show time, something became immediately evident: The space was cramped, and not in a good way. Through no fault of their own, the six-member crew of The Northern National had people standing roughly two feet away from them on all sides, which made for an uncomfortably intimate setting. The band took it in stride, and the audience didn't seem to mind either, but it made for some trouble when mixing guitars, vocals, and drums into a well-balanced sound mix. Think of it like a DIY house show you paid $17 bucks to get in to.
It was apparent that the size and layout of the space lends itself more to a solo act — or maybe a trio at maximum. Also, the general vibe of the space seemed at odds with the music. It would be tough to imagine any kind of mildly wild show taking place in the room.
Really, though, the most damning issue of the GeoDeck as a venue was the strict curfew. Management shut down the party promptly at 9:30 p.m., corralling everyone back down to The Reunion Tower lobby before the party ever had a chance to get into full swing. It was a bit of a bummer considering the spot's potential.
While its first outing was something of a rough one, the GeoDeck perhaps deserves a little slack. It was, after all, the spot's first attempt at this sort of thing. And as far as views go, Reunion Tower's kind of got that market cornered. If it can hone in on the right types of acts and audiences to best compliment the intimate space, there's some real promise here, to be sure.