Piano’s is located on 158 Ludlow Street, Manhattan, between Stanton and Rivington Streets.  It lays on the same block as the former Cake Shop, around the corner from Arlene’s...


Rush Midnight

Piano’s is located on 158 Ludlow Street, Manhattan, between Stanton and Rivington Streets.  It lays on the same block as the former Cake Shop, around the corner from Arlene’s Grocery, and within the circle of venues in the Bowery (roughly between Houston, A, Delancey Street, and Bowery), which includes those four, Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, Rockwood Music Hall and others.

The front room at Piano’s is a bar, not as skinny as other Bowery venue-bars, but with tables and chairs kind of haphazardly laid out, making it still a relative crush.  Things are especially cramped on Friday and Saturday nights, with the security sometimes responding by being heavy-handed.  The bar itself is popular in its own right, as there is a small space upstairs used as a dance club and occasionally as a venue (such as during New Colossus).  The entrance to both that, the floor-level venue, and the stairs down to the bathrooms are all at the back of the bar, increasing the crush.

The stage and stage floor at the back are relatively cramped, though at least it doesn’t have the low ceilings of basement venues.  However, the bar on the house-left side only adds to the crush, though it does create a space between it, the entryway, and the single-occupancy bathroom at the back.  Like the front bar, there are tables and chairs in the small stage floor, but they are usually limited to hugging the sidewalls.  The stage itself is removed enough off the ground, with strong lighting, to make the band quite visible to all on the stage floor, something other small Bowery venues also lack.

Piano’s is one of a group of low-end venues in the Bowery – small, lesser facilities, low price, cheap drinks, etc.  Generally, the acts occupy the lower end of the touring spectrum, but that can include up-and-coming new groups, side projects, and solo performances (the small, visible stage is particularly well-suited to one-person shows).  Such artists as Nicole Atkins also served it as a place for name-making residencies.  Piano’s actually bats somewhat above its weight, not Mercury Lounge level, but higher than the ones that aren’t there any more – of the tiny Bowery venues, it’s the ‘classy’ one.  It often hosts New York City one-offs by bands that have played the venue before on tour.  An intriguing place that often isn’t quite what it seems.

Capacity: 100



158 Ludlow Street (Between Stanton and Rivington Streets)

By Subway:

F trains to 2nd Avenue – walk 1 block east to First Avenue/Allen Street, 2 blocks more east on South side of Houston, 1 & 1/2 blocks south on East side of Ludlow
F, J, M or Z trains to Delancey/Essex – walk 1 block west on North side of Delancey, 1 & 1/2 blocks north on East side of Ludlow

QRO Coverage:

-Subsonic Eye, with Love Language, Outer Shapes, and Airu, March 10th, 2024 (New Colossus) – New Colossus coverage

-Ducks Ltd., with Prewn, Them Airs, Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys, and Carinae, with Holiday Ghosts, Langkamer, and Last Waltzon (upstairs), March 9th, 2024 (New Colossus) – New Colossus coverage, Ducks Ltd. photos

-Yo Diablo, with Minas & Teddy Hunter (upstairs), March 8th, 2024 (New Colossus) – New Colossus coverage, Yo Diablo photos, Minas photos, Teddy Hunter photos

-FRANKIIE, with Last Waltzon, and Love Language, OSKA, & min.a (upstairs), March 7th, 2024 (New Colossus) – New Colossus coverage, FRANKIIE photos, Last Waltzon photos

-The Natvral, with Hussy, March 9th, 2019 (New Colossus) – The Natvral photos, Hussy photos

-Stuck In the Sound, with Shade, March 8th, 2019 (New Colossus) – Stuck In the Sound photosShade photos

-Ellis, with Piano’s Conversations and panels on Let’s Talk About Sync & The Importance of Being an Independent Label in Today’s Marketplace, March 7th, 2019 (New Colossus) – Ellis photosPiano’s Conversations photos, Let’s Talk About Sync panel photos, The Importance of Being an Independent Label in Today’s Marketplace panel

-Candy Ambulance, March 6th, 2019 (New Colossus) – photos

-Dirty Heretics, with Jouska, Ira Lawrence, Zigadoo Money Clips, Civil Villains, and Florie Namir, September 18th, 2016 (MONDO NYC) – Mondo coverage, Dirty Heretics photos, Jouska photos, Ira Lawrence photos, Zigadoo Money Clips photos, Civil Villains photos, Florie Namir photos

-Raphaelle, with Leo & Cygnus, Mane, and Dirty Dishes, September 17th, 2016 (MONDO NYC) – Raphaelle photos, Leo & Cygnus photos, Mane photos, Dirty Dishes photos

-Carnival Youth, with The Everymen and Faulkner, September 16th, 2016 (MONDO NYC) – Mondo coverage, Carnival Youth photos, The Everymen photos, Faulkner photos

-Reputante, with Turner Cody & The Dukes of Decline, September 15th, 2016 (MONDO NYC) – Mondo coverage, Reputante photos, Turner Cody & The Dukes of Decline photos

-Julian Velard, September 14th, 2016 (MONDO NYC) – photos

-Palehound, with Smoke Season, The Big Moon, The Lemon Twigs, and Bayonne, October 17th, 2015 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Palehound photos, Smoke Season (upstairs) photos, The Big Moon (upstairs) photos, The Lemon Twigs photos, Bayonne (upstairs) photos

-Beverly, with Shopping, October 14th, 2015 (CMJ) – Beverly photos, Shopping (upstairs) photos

-Mainland, with Sizzy Rocket, Cosmo Sheldrake, and Slum Sociable, October 13th, 2015 (CMJ) – Mainland photos, Sizzy Rocket photos, Cosmo Sheldrake photos, Slum Sociable photos

-Bo Ningen with Fascinator, altopalo, WALTZ, Vandana Jain, Girlpool, and Dune Rats, October 24th, 2014 (CMJ) – Bo Ningen photos, Fascinator photos, altopalo photos, WALTZ photos, Vandana Jain photos, Girlpool photos, Dune Rats photos

-Oyinda, with Tei Shi and Dead Stars, October 22nd, 2014 (CMJ) – Oyinda photos, Tei Shi photos, Dead Stars photos

-Modern Rivals, with Shilpa Ray, Fort Lean, Jack + Eliza, and Canon Logic, October 21st, 2014 (CMJ) – Modern Rivals photos, Shilpa Ray photos, Fort Lean photos, Jack + Eliza photos, Canon Logic photos

-The Mighty JSE, Sylvana Joyce & The Moment, and Amerigo Mackeral & The Octave Doktors, April 5th, 2014 – The Mighty JSE photos, Sylvana Joyce & The Moment photos, Amerigo Mackeral & The Octave Doktors photos

-The Hairs, with The Teen Age, Magneta Lane, and Weekender, December 11th, 2013 (Canvas Media/Papercup Music Holiday Party) – The Hairs photos, The Teen Age photos, Magneta Lane photos, Weekender photos

-Total Slacker, with TEEN, J Fernandez, Wilsen, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Palehound, October 18th, 2013 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Total Slacker photos, TEEN photos, J Fernandez photos, Wilsen photos, The Blind Boys of Alabama photos, Palehound photos

-Shark Week, with Holychild, October 17th, 2013 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Shark Week photos, Holychild photos

-Baby Alpaca, with Junior Prom, October 16th, 2013 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Baby Alpaca photos, Junior Prom photos

-Milagres, with Gossling and Ghost Wave, October 15th, 2013 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Milagres photos, Gossling (upstairs) photos, Ghost Wave photos

-Rush Midnight, May 10th, 2013 (Downtown Music Festival) – photos

-Phone Home, November 23rd, 2012 – photos

-Black Light Dinner Party, with Cemeteries, Teen Daze, and Field Mouse, October 16th, 2012 (CMJ) – Black Light Dinner Party photos, Cemeteries photos, Teen Daze photos, Field Mouse photos

-Birthmark, with Phone Home, Big Black Delta, Late Guest (at the Party), and Leaves of Green, August 17th, 2012 – Birthmark photos, Phone Home photos, Big Black Delta photos, Late Guest (at the Party) photos, Leaves of Green photos

-We Are Scientists, October 22nd, 2011 (CMJ) – photos

-Now Now, October 21st, 2011 (CMJ) – photos

-ARMS, with Guards and Pyyramids, October 19th, 2011 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, ARMS photos, Guards photos, Pyyramids photos

-Dignan, with We Barbarians, Locksley, and The Forms, October 18th, 2011 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Dignan photos, We Barbarians photos, Locksley photos, The Forms photos

-Wishing Machine, with Glenn Roth, June 23rd, 2011 – Wishing Machine photos, Glenn Roth photos

-Country Mice, with Delilah and Ed Vallance, June 2nd, 2011 – Country Mice photos, Delilah photos, Ed Vallance photos

-Luke Rathborne, with MiniBoone and Thieving Irons, April 25th, 2011 – Luke Rathborne photos, MiniBoone photos, Thieving Irons photos

-Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, with Hooray For Earth, Zambri, and ArpLine, November 3rd, 2010 – Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers photos, Hooray For Earth photos, Zambri photos, ArpLine photos

-Sherlock’s Daughter, with Dinosaur Feathers, October 23rd, 2010 (CMJ) – Sherlock’s Daughter photos, Dinosaur Feathers photos

-BRAHMS, with Oberhofer, Electric Tickle Machine, and Hooray For Earth, October 19th, 2010 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, BRAHMS photos, Oberhofer photos, Electric Tickle Machine photos, Hooray For Earth photos

-Sparrow & The Workshop, with White Belt Yellow Tag, June 8th, 2010 (Distillers Record Showcase) – Sparrow & The Workshop photos, White Belt Yellow Tag photos

-Shout Out Louds, March 2nd, 2010 – photos

-Bluebrain, with Fredrik, February 15th, 2010 – Fredrik review, Bluebrain photos, Fredrik photos

-Bear Hands, with Imaad Wasif and Superdrag, October 23rd, 2009 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Bear Hands photos, Imaad Wasif photos (upstairs), Superdrag photos

-Alec Ounsworth, with Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Holly Miranda, Chris Denny, Lovvers, and Surfer Blood, October 22nd, 2009 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Alec Ounsworth photos, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson photos (upstairs), Holly Miranda photos (upstairs), Chris Denny photos (upstairs), Lovvers photos, Surfer Blood photos

-Evan Dando, with These United States and Kanipchen Fit, October 21st, 2009 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Evan Dando photos, These United States photos, Kanipchen Fit photos (upstairs)

-Middle Distance Runner, with The Love Language and Fanfarlo, October 20th, 2009 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Middle Distance Runner photos (upstairs), The Love Language photos (upstairs), Fanfarlo photos

-The Grates, July 15th, 2009 – live review, photos

-The Rest, May 18th, 2009 – live review, photos

-The Features, May 14th, 2009 – live review, photos

-The Octagon, with The Heavenly States, Harlem Shakes, The Cringe, and Sean Bones, May 6th, 2009 – The Octagon photos, The Heavenly States photos, Harlem Shakes photos, The Cringe photos, Sean Bones photos

-Young Galaxy, March 4th, 2009 – live review, photos

-stellastarr*, with The Picture and Princeton, December 2nd, 2008 – stellastarr* live review, stellastarr* photos, The Picture photos, Princeton photos

-Takka Takka, with Sam Champion, October 22nd, 2008 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Takka Takka photos, Sam Champion photos

-Pwrfl Power, with Lissy Trullie, Pattern is Movement, and Au, October 21st, 2008 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Pwrfl Power photos (upstairs), Lissy Trullie photos (upstairs), Pattern is Movement photos, Au photos

-LoveLikeFire, October 8th, 2008 – live review, photos

-Zambri, with Hooray For Earth, Paul Holmes, and Caspian, April 12th, 2008 – Hooray For Earth live review, Zambri photos, Hooray For Earth photos, Paul Holmes photos, Caspian photos

-Bon Iver, with The Meat Puppets, October 18th, 2007 (CMJ) – CMJ coverage, Bon Iver photos, The Meat Puppets photos

-Tulsa, with Foundry Field Recordings, August 4th, 2007 – Foundry Field Recordings live review, Tulsa photos, Foundry Field Recordings photos



Click here for the venue’s website

Venue Reviews

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