2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Austin, TX 78712
Hours: Show Times Vary
Written by: Isabel Stewart
Photos courtesy of Texas Performing Arts
With its vast size and superior accoutrements, the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Concert Hall ranks among the finest performance spaces in the country. Recent renovations using eco-friendly materials and design elements were completed in 2009, creating a five-story, glass-fronted lobby, multiple bars and dining spaces, and a rooftop deck with breath-taking views of Austin’s skyline.
At Bass Concert Hall, Austinites can enjoy a variety of entertainment in a state-of-the-art venue built to serve The University of Texas and the Central Texas community. Bass Concert Hall is the centerpiece of Texas Performing Arts, which manages multiple venues across the UT campus. Acts range from internationally-recognized dance troupes and touring Broadway shows to pop concerts and stand-up comedians. Acclaimed musicians in jazz, rock, folk and world music regularly perform on the enormous stage. The concert hall grants performers a superior quality of sound with its cutting-edge audio system. “We have the ability to keep our hall very live for unreinforced acts like symphonies and operas; and the ability to deaden the room, as well, with modular acoustic draperies,” says Audio Supervisor Adam Dudley. Musical groups have their choice of monitors and backline to compliment the needs of each performance.
The computerized lighting system and top-of-the-line stage mechanics are also designed to provide audiences with a stellar experience. The stage and backstage area are second only to the New York Metropolitan Opera in size and accoutrements. Entertainers enjoy a large, catered green room just steps from the stage, and three floors of dressing rooms capable of accommodating more than 100 performers.
Well-known artists that have performed at Bass include: Van Morrison, Neil Young, Wilco, Conor Oberst, Elvis Costello, Broken Social Scene, John Legend, James Taylor, Morrissey, Tori Amos, Jackson Brown and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Gene Bartholomew, Assistant Director of Communications for Texas Performing Arts, recalls one unforgettable night at the concert hall, “Jazz legend Ornette Coleman was completely magic, completely stretching the boundaries of free-form music!”
Bartholomew goes on to say that Bass Concert Hall aims to give patrons “a unique live performance in a comfortable, acoustically superior environment.” As for future plans of the cutting-edge venue, Texas Performing Arts intends to “continue to engage the community with legendary and contemporary performers.”