UPDATE: BV's got the whole story. Sounds legit. Still kind of upset tho.
I sometimes feel like the Bowery Presents people's biggest defender, with all that unwarranted Webster-hate out there. But this is really inexcusable. The National/Baby Dayliner/Doveman show on 5/21, which went on sale a week or two ago and since sold out, has been moved to Webster Hall. This has happened twice before, to my knowledge. Once, When the Arcade Fire were on the up and up, and a few months after playing Bowery, booked another show at the club. The next was when the Fiery Furnaces got bumped. Both moves caused a justified outrage from fans.
At least the Arcade Fire were growing in popularity in an unprecedented way, and the demand to see them was so high (with craigslist ticket scalpers taking advantage) that it was the wise thing to do. The Fiery Furnaces move was a little more curious, since the show hadn't even sold out at the time, but the band had just played the same venue not too long ago, so it seemed like the appropriate move.
I'm not sure why this is any different than the FF show, but it feels that way. I feel duped. Maybe because the National had their Bowery Show politely hijacked by CYHSY fans. This show felt, in a way, as a make-up show for people who wanted to see them at Bowery but couldn't. Maybe it was because the main reason why I bought a ticket for this show was to see this band at Bowery. For the FF, I wanted to see them again no matter what. Here, I just saw the National at Webster in February for the Plug Awards. This had the feel of a special, one-off show with great and interesting local supporting bands. Now it's just another concert from a band I've already seen a few times. Plain and simple, as much as I think Webster is a perfectly fine venue to see a show, I would not have bought a ticket for this show had it been announced originally there. I don't think I'm alone here.
This is not about Webster Hall sucking, no matter your opinion on the club. Lets not make it about that. It's about a bait and switch, plain and simple. And it feels almost premeditated this time. It's not like anyone would be suprised that The National could sell out Bowery. Like they were overwhelmed and suprised by so many ticket sales that they had to bump it up to accomidate the fans. Likewise, without anything new out since their last album (which came out nearly a year ago), I suspect that selling out Webster Hall would have prolly been stretch as well. Is there a chance they put this show on the calendar at Bowery with no intention of ever having the show there, but spicifically as a selling point? I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but it doesn't seem so out there.
I feel taken advantage of. They didn't even offer a half-assed refund option, as they sometimes do when dates or venues get moved around. As somebody who spends at least 2 or more nights most weeks at the Bowery Presents clubs, I'm not about to boycott them or put up too big a fuss. Like I said, I generally like what they do, and creating a Clear Channel alternative in a city like this is an admirable task. I'd just like an explanation.