As the ongoing game of Boston booking agent musical chairs continues to spin 'round, CROSSROADS PRESENTS appears to be investing in its own religious pew.
Crossroads Presents, the booking company that is a venture of Live Nation New England president Don Law and the talent-buying company for Brighton Music Hall, the Paradise Rock Club, and other Boston venues, has gotten even more indie recently, becoming involved in the “marketing” of 225-capacity room Church in the Fenway area.
The move relieves Dan Millen of his booking duties there after a seven-month stint. Millen, who says his departure was a mutual decision, will continue to book his long-running Rock On Concerts series at various clubs around town, including occasionally at Church.
Ryan Vangel, talent buyer of Crossroads, tells the Phoenix this afternoon that his agency will not be booking shows there just yet. But Millen’s replacement as booking agent at Church is Will Raymund, of Berklee College of Music and formerly the band the Effective Dose -- and currently the assistant box office manager at the Live Nation-owned Paradise. Vangel said Raymund will not be an employee of Crossroads.
“They hired someone to book it,” Vangel says of Church. “It won’t be our employee, it’ll be theirs. We will be helping with marketing. He is their booker. They hired someone I know and we’ll be supportive.”
When asked if Crossroads will eventually be booking shows at Church, possibly giving the company a new first-step in a live music venue lineage that runs to the 408-person Brighton Music Hall in Allston and 933-person Paradise, on Commonwealth Avenue, Vangel says “it’s too early to say.”
“It remains to be seen,” he says. “I’m doing shows all over the map. I can’t do shows at Great Scott any more. Right now I’ve been doing shows at Café 939 and Middle East up, under the Fenway [Recording Sessions] banner. Eventually I would love to have a 200-capacity room.”
Crossroads getting involved with Church is advantageous for Live Nation, as it gives them a more intimate room to compete with Allston’s Great Scott (240 capacity) and T. T. The Bear’s Place (330 capacity) in Cambridge, which have recently been absorbed by Bowery Boston, linking it up with the New York-based company’s own live music pipeline that includes the recently opened Sinclair in Harvard Square (525 cap.) and Royale (775 cap.) in the Theatre District on Tremont Street.
A few weeks ago, the independent Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub complex in Cambridge, likely responding to booking pressures from Crossroads and Bowery, re-hired longtime talent buyer Kevin Hoskins to oversee its 575-person downstairs room. Hoskins will also help out filling the calendar on the Middle East's 190-person upstairs club, where Vangel has been booking shows, recently bringing in UK upstarts Palma Violets as part of his and Mark Kates’ Fenway Recording Sessions.