Discover MGM Music Hall, Boston’s newest concert hall


Music

The 5,000-person concert space will be open to the public this weekend.

The new MGM Music Hall at Fenway. John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

Fenway’s MGM Music Hall, a state-of-the-art concert hall located adjacent to Fenway Park, officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday afternoon.

The ceremony capped years of planning for the new 5,000-person venue, an effort led by Fenway Music Company, a collaboration between Fenway Sports Management and entertainment giant Live Nation, which also owns and operates the nearby House of Blues.

The unconventional triangular shape of the 91,500 square foot venue, a necessity of its location on the “Triangle Lot” at the corner of Lansdowne and Ipswich streets, meant that Somerville’s DAIQ Architects team had to be creative in its layout. But much like the nearby ballpark, the end result is an intimate space in which no seat is more than 110 feet from the stage.

MGM Music Hall in Fenway.
MGM Music Hall in Fenway. – John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

One of the advantages of the triangular space is the absence of slapback, an auditory echo effect that can occur in square rooms “due to surfaces that are directly facing each other”, according to Live Nation New England President Don Law.

Divided into four levels, the venue offers ample floor space for general admission shows, as well as two levels of auditorium seating and ‘box’ seating along the balustrade, all of which have excellent lines view of the stage. There are also plenty of food and drink areas throughout the site, three lounges, and an open-air rooftop terrace with views of Lansdowne Street and downtown Boston.

The roof terrace of the MGM Music Hall at Fenway.
The roof terrace of the MGM Music Hall at Fenway. – John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

MGM Music Hall will host artists of all stripes, with plans to use the space for some of pop music’s biggest acts as well as community programs such as student performances for the nearby Boston Arts Academy. For smaller shows, seats can be added and removed on the ground floor.

MGM Music Hall is positioning itself as the premier option for mid-size concert venues, offering a space smaller than arenas like TD Garden but larger than House of Blues (2,500), Roadrunner (3,500) and Big Night Live (2,000).

Interior of the MGM Music Hall
The interior of MGM Music Hall at Fenway. – John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

After the grand opening, a handful of VIP guests took to the floor as Springfield native Michelle Brooks-Thompson sang a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

FSG President John Henry, who took the floor first to deliver a prepared address, spoke about his early days as a musician and his dreams for the new venue. (Henry also owns Boston Globe Media Partners, the parent company of Boston.com).

“I started adulthood as a professional musician. It was the central focus of my life all through my 20s, all through high school,” Henry said. “I’ve developed other interests over time, but the musician in me here today couldn’t be more proud of this new home for the world’s greatest artists, as well as emerging artists who will share their art. with our community.”

MGM Music Hall Dedication Ceremony
Business leaders and citizens participated in a ribbon cutting for MGM Music Hall at Fenway on Monday. – Kevin Slane/Boston.com

Music played as scheduled speakers made their way to and from the stage included tunes from artists who were scheduled to perform at MGM Music Hall in the coming weeks. Some of the artists who will take the stage for the first on-site shows are hard rock band Godsmack (August 27), singer-songwriter James Taylor and his All-Star Band (August 29 and 30), pop star Bruno Mars (September 7, 9 and 11) and rapper Lil Nas X (September 18).

The first exploratory plans for MGM Music Hall were announced in 2018, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in late 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Looking back, Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy marveled at how far the project has come since then.

“It was a cold November morning. We stood in what was an empty triangular parking lot that served as a utility yard for Fenway, and took photos shoveling mounds of dirt while trying to imagine what this space might become,” said said Kennedy. “I have to say, at that time, no rendering could do justice to what the experience of this place has become.”

Lobby of MGM Music Hall
The lobby of MGM Music Hall at Fenway. – Kevin Slane/Boston.com



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