Like a fine wine the Ryman ages so gracefully...
The Ryman Auditorium has been nominated, for the third time in a row, for Pollstar's Theatre of the Year. The category the Ryman is in is, Theatre of the Year Indoor Venue with under 6,000 seats. It is a tough category because all of the other theatres are top notch in so many ways but the voters have been swayed by the history, charm, acoustics and much more for the last two years.
All it takes is a tour or to attend a concert to feel the magic that happens there.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Allison Krauss open for Bill Monroe there, Phil Lesh and Friends, David Grisman and many more at the Ryman and I'm awestruck with each show and how the venue pulls out such great stuff from most anyone that plays there. I've often heard and read where an artist will play there for the first time and be just fall in love with the acoustics, history and overall ambiance.
When I saw Allison Krauss and Union Station play there they did a couple of the songs without using microphones or speakers. It was truly "unplugged" and yet you could hear every word and all of the instruments weaving around each other. I have seen hundreds of concerts over the years and I've never experienced a band try that at any other venue. I think that spoke of the acoustics, of course, but it shows that the Ryman is like an old friend and you felt as though the band and the Ryman were pulling you in to whisper a secret in your ear. That is what it is a true and dependable friend that delights everyone who spends some time with it.
Some of the competition for the award:
Radio City Music Hall (New York, NY)
Dodge Theatre (Phoenix, AZ)
Fox Theatre (Atlanta, GA)
Gibson Amphitheatre (Universal City, CA)
Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX)
Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN)