Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe will be city’s newest music venue, but will it be good for the scene?

Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe is opening its doors next month and the music-themed restaurant will be featuring more than a menu peppered with tourist-priced burgers and walls littered with pieces of music memorabilia.

Along with having food options aplenty, Hard Rock Seattle will also feature live music regularly in a 400-person capacity theater located at the business’ second level.  The folks over at Hard Rock Seattle are calling it “one of Seattle’s most intimate and state-of-the art live venues.” It will feature a top-of-the-line lighting rig, several video screens and Hard Rock’s plans include booking local and national talent for the venue’s stage.

The music will mostly be happening on the weekends and will include a variety of genres. On the local talent front, Hard Rock Seattle is planning to host monthly residencies for local artists where artists play shows at the Hard Rock every Tuesday for a month. Also, there will be weekly all-ages shows on Sundays. No artists have been named for the residencies or concerts to be held at the theater but the venue’s talent buyer is currently seeking out local acts. The residencies are a great way for the venue to distinguish itself from other local clubs and a great way to showcase local artists. Click here for details if you’re interested.

Overall, having another live music spot in town is great for the scene. It will give local artists more opportunities to showcase their music and it appears as if the venue will have a big focus on local music if Hard Rock Seattle keeps its word. Also, fancy lighting, an intimate setting and video screens seems like a pretty cool combination that gives Hard Rock Seattle another way to separate itself from its competition.

However, the venue’s high-rent location along with the likeliness that Hard Rock will cater to tourists, probably means ticket prices will be a bit on the spendy side. But a high-rent location equaling steeper ticket costs isn’t something that’s new to local clubgoers (I’m talking to you, owners of the Crocodile).

The Hard Rock will likely get more national acts than a venue like Nuemos or the Crocodile based off its brand, which is great considering the promised intimate nature of the theater, but that also begs the question of how many live music venues can the scene handle? Hopefully smaller clubs like the High Dive, Nectar, Chop Suey and others won’t be impacted much by a big fish like Hard Rock rolling into town. It will be interesting to see how things play out, especially in this rough economy, and whether Hard Rock Seattle will be a player in the scene or it will fail and fade away like Seattle’s Planet Hollywood did several years ago.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a bit apprehensive, but I will say initially I am excited for the opening of this venue because it will give local musicians another stage to play, which also happens to be a high-profile stage, making it all the better for local artists to shine in the spotlight. Plus, it’s going to be cool to see the music goodies that are on display. Yes EMPSFM has some really great stuff on display, but it’ll be cool to see what isn’t in the museum’s collection.

Speaking of music goodies, some of the memorabilia items on display will include Jimi Hendrix’s purse, guitars used by Andy Wood and Kurt Cobain, a bass used by Krist Novoselic, one of Hendrix’s Strats, a suit worn on stage by Nancy Wilson, a Sean Kinney drum kit and more. You can click here to get a look at some of the memorabilia that will be featured at the restaurant/club. Pictured above is art for the Hard Rock Seattle shirt. If the style looks familiar it’s because it was created by the Ames Bros. who handle all the artwork for Pearl Jam’s show posters.

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