The Sinclair will open tonight; first look inside the new Cambridge live music venue

All photos by Michael Marotta

Mr. Bowery, tear down this Tumblr.

After several weeks of delays, postponements, and re-routed shows, Cambridge’s THE SINCLAIR will officially open for business tonight. The first live performance at the new 525-capacity Harvard Square live music venue, which has postponed its opening since late-October due to “unexpected construction delays,” will feature Concrete Blonde (Jim Bianco opening), taking an anticipated performance of the Los Angeles modern rock’ band’s 1990 cult-classic “Bloodletting” to a whole new level.

And that’s appropriate, because the best part of the Sinclair -- according to our exclusive sneak peak inside the venue last night -- are the levels. The room has the vibe of a smaller, more intimate House of Blues, with two balconies extending down the sides nearly touching the stage area, but the real appeal is the centrally-located “landing spot,” an elevated section just behind the front of house sound booth that’s slightly lower than the balconies and about 30 yards from the stage. Anyone who shows up early to gigs at the Sinclair will no doubt make a bee-line for this spot. It’s the best view in a house that has no bad views.

FULL SCHEDULE: Upcoming shows at the Sinclair

Walking around the space last night, there are really no bad sightlines, and the 525-capacity should ensure anyone in the room has a good view of the stage, either from the floor, balconies, or landing spot. The multiple levels extending around the room give a different feel from each perspective, and the bar area – complete with subway-style tiling that reads SINCLAIR and an old bureau behind the bar taken from an old Harvard frat house, the story alleges – is destined to be a prime hang-out space even while the show is going on. One must pass through this area, which is nearly a separate room from the stage and performance space section.

The room isn’t huge, but the use of space is pretty spectacular. How's it sound? We'll find out tonight, Joey. 

American Kitchen, the Michael Schlow-operated restaurant connected to the Sinclair in front of its 52 Church Street space, will have roughly 100 seats inside and a 50-person outdoor patio space.

The Sinclair is operated by Bowery Boston, the booking company which also houses shows at 775-capacity Royale on Tremont Street, 275-capacity T. T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge, and 240-capacity Great Scott in Allston.

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