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The State Theatre Returns (With A Little Help From NYC And VT)

The State Theatre is reopening this Fall, with Lauren Wayne as general manager.

Note: the above is by no means an official image/logo, as this new partnership and the State will have its own identity.

In NYC, Bowery Presents is the only promoter that matters (in the world of clubs and bars, not so much the diy scene, but the lines there seem to be getting blurrier too). Bands trying to “make it” have to play at Mercury Lounge, from painfully difficult-to-fill Tuesday nights to progressively better bills, before getting a shot at opening for a big local or national act at Bowery Ballroom. For years it seemed like that’s all there was to look forward to – if you got to play Bowery (or, if you were really hot, headline it and sell out), then you were successful. The group added more venues, transforming the beloved Northsix (and its infamous basement) into the massive Music Hall Of Williamsburg and opening the music fan-polarizing Terminal 5, plus other venues and one-off concerts and special events, making the pot all that much sweeter if an act could get in the good graces for the guys behind BP (actually, all pretty friendly folks, from those that I know). Their reputation and network of bands and agencies is seemingly endless, from the newest band that was formed last night at a party in Bushwick to heavy hitters like LCD Soundsystem.

Many times, when looking at a national act’s tour schedule and there’s a hole between Boston and Montreal, there’s a thought that “hey, maybe this band will come to Portland!” Most of those times they chose to go to Vermont instead, and the venue they play is Higher Ground (Broken Social Scene, Tift Merritt, Fiery Furnaces, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes). Like Bowery Presents, they also do larger events at other venues, such as MGMT, Primus, and My Morning Jacket concerts.

So, what does this have to do with Portland? The two are teaming up (or, specifically, The Bowery Presents and Alex Crothers of Higher Ground) to reopen Portland, Maine’s State Theatre in the Fall of 2010 (it closed in 2006). Lauren Wayne (who you may know from the State’s previous life, Port City Music Hall, or even Livenation) will be on board (and back in Portland!) as general manager, heading up the booking of 80 concerts a year at the revitalized venue. The new partnership will also be looking to do other events and festivals in the area. Turns out that recent flurry of teasing with articles about the State wasn’t for nothing. Maybe even my bad joke about Pavement could be a reality, stranger things have happened (like that time that I suggested that Bowery Presents should reach far beyond their normal territory in New York City and reopen the State Theatre way up here in Portland, Maine… no, that’s a stupid… oh, wait…) Maybe Portland will even finally get a proper music festival.

The State Theatre (and a new logo) is on Facebook.

This is exciting news – I can’t wait to see who they have lined up for their first few shows! With the strength of Bowery Presents’ network in the mix and a bigger venue available, Portland stands a chance to really become a critical spot for a lot of the bigger names in music that we’ve been missing out on for a while now. Who would you like to see play at the State Theatre? (I want LCD Soundsystem, I’m just going to keep putting that out there until it happens.)