From the outset, I wanted the best in class in everything we are doing here, and when it came to giving artists and audiences the best musical experience, that meant Meyer Sound in every room.”
Michael DorfFounder and CEO, City Winery
City Winery New York finally opened for ticketed live music events in early April at its new flagship location inside the redeveloped Pier 57 on the Hudson River after a hiatus of more than a year. As with the seven other City Winery locations, this newest venue relies on Meyer Sound reinforcement systems exclusively, with the New York location the first to anchor its system with LINA line array loudspeakers. Within the first week of sold-out shows, the sound quality in the new room already had earned accolades from audiences and performers alike.
“I have some confidence in my own ears, but more confidence in the ears of musicians who have played here — and they have been ecstatic,” says City Winery Founder and CEO Michael Dorf. “The combination of the room acoustic and the Meyer Sound LINA system is magic. Steve Earle said from the stage during his acoustic set that the sound in the room was the best he had heard in any venue. And when Willie Nile came with his four-piece classic rock band — two guitars with Marshall amps and a drummer that hit hard — the room and the system handled it beautifully. Willie even said that the bar had been raised for sound in New York and claimed that this was the city’s ‘new temple of rock.’”
New Meyer Sound LINA System
The versatile new system is anchored by twin arrays of eight each LINA line array loudspeakers, with sides, front center and stage corner areas and balcony VIP areas covered by, respectively, UPQ-1P, UPJ‑1P loudspeakers and UPJunior loudspeakers. Controlled deep bass projects through a center cardioid array of three 900‑LFC low-frequency control elements, supplemented by four 750‑LFC elements (one over each array, two under the stage). Two GALAXY 816 Network Platforms provide system drive and optimization, with artist foldback entrusted to 10 MJF‑210 stage monitors.
“The LINA line arrays have a low profile visually, but we still have zero problems getting all the clarity and power we need,” says Marc Colletti, the production and technical director with oversight for all eight locations who also mixes many shows at his New York base. “It’s perfect for the room. It handled Willie Nile with ease. We never had to poke him to stay under the PA while at the same time keeping a comfortable listening level.”
City Winery Chooses Meyer Sound
For Colletti, the new system at City Winery’s flagship location reinforces his commitment to installing Meyer Sound systems at all future locations as well. “When they book into any City Winery, artists and touring engineers know what to expect. They know they won’t have to compromise, that there will be a top-of-the-line experience and with uniformity from venue to venue.”
Relying on Meyer Sound is part of a broad commitment to excellence at every level — food, drink and service as well as sound, according to Dorf. “From the outset, I wanted the best in class in everything we are doing here, and when it came to giving artists and audiences the best musical experience, that meant Meyer Sound in every room.”
Save Our Stages Initiative
The delayed New York re-opening is another sign of emergence from a dark period for the live entertainment industry. The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to all venues, but Dorf is confident in the future, thanks in large part to the Save Our Stages initiative by the National Independent Venue Association, in which he participated.
“Save Our Stages was successful in that it paved the way for the Shuttered Venues Act passed last December,” says Dorf. “We now have $16 billion allocated for relief of thousands of venues, which definitely help us get back on our feet — once we get through the current breakdown of the application process at the Small Business Administration.”
Live Events Community Comes Together
Despite the financial hardships, Dorf feels the pandemic has not diminished the feeling of community among artists and live music providers. “In many ways I’ve grown closer to some artists,” he says. “Even though they weren’t on our stages, we kept in touch with Zoom, phone calls and emails. Joan Osborne, Steve Earle, Rhett Miller — off the top of my head — are a few in a family of musicians that have stuck together through this. That’s why I’ve been so emotional this past week, just seeing this ecosystem of live music coming back to life. I know how valuable it is for them, not just economically but also spiritually.
“For most artists, their livelihood is more than just writing and recording their music. Performing in front of a live audience is an experience that cannot be replicated in any other form. It’s fine to do live streaming and see all those comments and emojis coming up, but it’s not the same as having real people in front of you. It’s magic, and I know they have missed it. It’s heartwarming to see the connection happening again now.”
City Winery opened in New York in 2008 on Varick Street, and upon losing its lease in 2019, relocated to 30,000 square feet of the former Marine and Aviation Pier 57 in Hudson River Park. City Winery also has locations in Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Hudson Valley.