Party like a rock star at the live-music venue putting a new spin on private events
The date is March 3, 2006, and the artist once again known as Prince just concluded a performance in front of 1,500 fans with his chart-topping hit, “Purple Rain.” Even better, the original American idol is performing on the small, yet high-energy stage at Warehouse Live, the latest destination for hip entertainment. Take a look at the venue’s lineup of performers slated to its stage, like Bob Schneider and Charlie Robison, and you’ll get an idea of what the hype is all about.
Warehouse Live kicked off its opening with a bang during the NBA All-Star Game weekend by hosting a late night party for NBA TV. The event was an indication of good things to come. The building quickly launched into a whirlwind of bookings and the outdoor marquis filled with names of national artists. It has since welcomed more than 15,000 patrons through the doors every month.
When the idea for the venue was first in the works, the founding group of Brent Silberstein, Louie Messina, Jeff Messina, Allen Becker and Gary Becker hunted throughout the city for the ideal location. They finally decided on the up-and-coming Warehouse District for its close proximity to downtown and Minute Maid Park.
General manager Brent Silberstein’s background in concert promoting and five years on the road with N’ Sync, the Backstreet Boys, Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith paved the way for him to open a venue that offers a unique spin on the typical concert hall.
The 1920s building that is Warehouse Live seeps an industrial-chic feel. Its urban aesthetics include original silver tube ducting, exposed wood ceilings and oversized trusses. “We couldn’t have built it the way it exists,” Silberstein says. The building is divided into two separate rooms and each has a stage, which gives the venue the flexibility to host a major act and a VIP section. The ballroom holds up to 1,500 people for concerts and the studio room holds up to 350 and has plush couches and a private bar.
As opposed to other larger venues in Houston, Warehouse Live’s size and laid-back atmosphere provide an intimate live music experience. The building ideally serves as a spot for bands looking to play in a smaller venue or whose ticket sales cannot fill a major arena.
“We’ve had baby bands, big bands, old bands, new bands,” Silberstein says. The venue has brought diversity to the Houston music scene by hosting big-name performers like The Cult, Ice Cube, Pink, Nick Lachey, Corrine Bailey Ray and Anthrax.
Even from the beginning, the group’s plan wasn’t to do just concerts at Warehouse Live. “We’re literally an event-driven space,” Silberstein says. The space’s bone structure of a rock ‘n’ roll venue can be transformed easily into an elegant setting. Bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, corporate parties and weddings have already been held at this innovative alternative venue for private events.
Capacity changes when not selling tickets to a concert. For a private event, the ballroom can seat 200 people with a dance floor and 250 without. Pricing for the space is competitive with local special venues like The Corinthian and Rockefeller Hall, and individual packages are arranged. Large tents can be set up behind the building as prep space for catering teams. Valet parking is also available to help avoid the problem of downtown parking.
Providing the basics — four walls, two full stages and two complete sound and light packages — allows party hosts to create a vision and run wild with it. Forget a list of preferred caterers, photographers and florists or required linens; Silberstein says they can do “whatever your mind can imagine and whatever your pocketbook can afford.”
The options are endless. A number of noteworthy names and leading corporations already have taken advantage of the possibilities and thrown their bash at Warehouse Live.
“The Baker Botts party was a big pinnacle for the building,” Silberstein says. The venue received tremendous interest from local companies after the international law firm’s Western-themed event.
Warehouse Live also garnered notoriety when many Astros and local media personalities attended Laura Casey’s “Xanadu”-themed roller skating party.
Jason Lewis, a music tour manager, had the first wedding at the venue. The romantic evening featured sheer fabric draped across the ceiling, candle-lit tables and an aisle lined with rose petals leading to the altar.
For Beyoncé’s birthday celebration hosted by Music World and BET, the interior had a sultry and sexy vibe designed with draping white linens, chandelier accents and dim purple lighting.
As an extra bonus, the owners’ daily involvement with performers can offer an inside connection to securing top-notch entertainment for your special evening.
What began as an idea between five partners evolved into one of the hottest destinations in Houston entertainment. Spend a Saturday night listening to Stephen Marley in May. Or, have your next event at the venue and feel like a rock star with your name displayed on the outdoor marquis. Whatever you have in mind, Warehouse Live knows how to throw a great party.