Beating the crowd at Terminal 5
December 4, 2012 8:30 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are seeing the Faint at Terminal 5 on Friday; how best to avoid the crowd?

Doors are at 8, and the first (of three) bands comes on at 9. Neither of us are particularly keen on seeing either opening band, honestly.

When I go see shows alone, I generally show up whenever I want (i.e. usually for/during the last opener) and push my way into a spot with good visibility. She's not a fan of being in the midst of a throng or pushing, so when we see shows together, we go to a part of the venue that isn't particularly dense: the seats on the lefthand side at Webster Hall, or upstairs at Music Hall of Williamsburg for instance.

It's been a while since I've been at a venue like Terminal 5, which I assume is closer to Roseland or Hammerstein and I'm used to the crowd mechanics of smaller venues. When ought we show up and where should we stake out a nice spot? If there's a seated upstairs like at Roseland/Music Hall that would be ideal. I seem to be having trouble finding a layout of the venue online.
posted by griphus to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Terminal 5 has an upstairs, too. In my spatial memory, it's between Roseland and Irving Plaza -- from the back of the second level, you can't see either (there are monitors to watch), but the second level will be more airy, and fill in more slowly.
posted by xo at 8:36 AM on December 4, 2012

There's actually three levels at Terminal 5, with the top level being the least crowded. There isn't seating, just balconies you can look over. It doesn't look like the show is sold out, so I imagine if you get there an hour before the Faint is supposed to go on, you will be able to stake out a nice spot. You can call the Mercury Lounge at 212-260-4700 the day of the show to find out specific set times.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2012

Agree with the others. I think stage left on the 2nd level balcony should be fine. Stage right is usually the VIP area, if I recall correctly, but it's not always consistent, sometimes the center balcony of the 2nd level is also VIP.

Terminal 5 Photos and Floor Plans.
posted by kathryn at 9:18 AM on December 4, 2012

Totally agree - if you don't like being crowded or not being able to see, the T5 balconies are your best shot. If you show up early enough (I agree that if it's not sold out, an hour should be OK) you can probably grab a spot leaning against the rail facing the stage, which feels downright spacious in comparison to the general floor and is more comfy besides.
posted by superfluousm at 11:15 AM on December 4, 2012

Terminal 5 is just the worst crowd sometimes! When I go, I actually like standing in the very back of first floor, near the bar on the left hand side near the stairs (opposite the entrance). I think you can actually get a pretty decent view of the stage from back there, but I am a tall person who appreciates easy access to the bar. I find that the balconies tend to fill up early.
posted by Dr. Regardless at 2:04 PM on December 4, 2012

The 4 times I've been to T5, both sides of the balcony were VIP only and the middle was dense with people up against the rail.

Especially if you guys don't want to see the openers, get there at 1030 and stand to the left of the first floor bar (I think Dr. Regardless and I might have the same spot).

If you do want that upper balcony rail, you prob have to be there by 830 and not move between acts (yuck)
posted by rmless at 2:37 PM on December 4, 2012

Thanks y'all. Here's hoping that Very Important People have better things to do on Saturday night than go see the Faint!
posted by griphus at 2:43 PM on December 4, 2012

Yes, there is an upstairs. And the upstairs has, I believe, two VIP areas. Easiest way to avoid the crowd is to "tip" the security guard manning the rope $20 per person and become a VIP. My brother "brokered" a deal like this for about 5 of us at a show there. I believe it went, "hey, is there any way my friends and I could get in there? It doesn't look really crowded," then take money out of pocket.

May be an added expense you don't want, but was fun the one time we did it. "Woo! We are VIPs at a Hold Steady/Drive by Truckers show!" Your mileage may vary, I assume this is against all sorts of rules, etc.
posted by lieberschnitzel at 2:08 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was just at Terminal 5 a week ago. BF and I showed up at 7:45, the first opening act started at 8. We were able to get one of two remaining open spots leaning over a balcony on the 3rd level. Definitely easier on your feet to watch the show alternating between leaning over something and standing, and the visibility was great. The VIP area was only 30% full at most during the show. I don't know whether bribing the bounces would work.

Basically, we got lucky that we didn't show up 5 minutes later, otherwise all the comfortable leaning spots would've been filled up. So if you want one of those, get there early. If you don't want to be there so early, then the crowd on the 2nd and 3rd floor is generally pretty calm, as is the crowd in the back of the first level.
posted by at 10:05 AM on December 5, 2012

Who did you see?
posted by griphus at 10:12 AM on December 5, 2012

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