Union Square Virgin Megastore

<p><a href="reviews/venue_reviews/union_square_virgin_megastore/"><img class="reflect" src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/virginmegastorerip.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></a> </p>...

Ra Ra Riot

Note: Due to declining sales, the Union Square Virgin Megastore closed at the end of May, following the April closing of the Times Square store.

Union Square Virgin Megastore is located on 52 East 14th Street, Manhattan, at the corner of 14th and Broadway.  While the main entrance is on the corner of Broadway and 14th Street, the actual venue is the café, located on the western side, near 4th Avenue/Union Square East, with its entrance on 14th Street.  The whole Megastore is at the southern end of Union Square, with Webster Hall one block southwest on 4th Avenue, and Irving Plaza two blocks north, one block east.

The stage, a few feet high and separated from the crowd by a railing, is back up against the glass wall to the street, to ones immediate right upon entering the café.  The café bar itself (note: no alcohol) is located on the house-right, while a diagonal balcony ledge cuts from the house-left corner of the stage back, creating a triangle-like stage floor, which is has some tables and chairs.  The back corner leads to the rest of the ground-floor area of Virgin Megastore, where popular music and clothing is mostly sold.  The balcony overlooks the basement-level area of the store (accessible by an escalator on the other side), where DVD’s, books/magazines, video games, and classical music is sold (when purchasing something at Union Square Virgin Megastore, especially during busy times, one can find a shorter line at the classical music section counter – as long as someone is manning it).

Like the smaller Sound Fix Records in Brooklyn, the shows at Union Square Virgin Megastore are free, with the turnout dependent upon day/time and the popularity of the band, but usually high – for big-name, major label acts like Nas, the store often sets up a line outside.  The shows are naturally shorter than a regular performance, with no encore, but still longer than a usual ‘in-store’ event at something like six songs (one can also catch the band doing their soundcheck a few hours earlier – when there’s virtually no one there).  Bands play there to advertise a new release, and generally stick around afterwards for signings at the table to immediate left of the entrance.  While the sound system is better than any other in-store venue this side of the Apple Store, it’s still not perfect.  There are also often numerous photographers and video cameras, though no restrictions on doing so yourself.  The concerts aren’t frequent, and may only be announced not long before the event (though that can also decrease turnout), but you get to see major bands in a smaller place than they usually pay, and for free.  They’re also generally scheduled for 7 PM on weekdays, making it easy to catch between work/school and going home/out.  Well worth checking out if you’re in the area or only a short subway ride away.

Capacity: 250

all ages


52 East 14th Street (Corner of 14th and Broadway)

By Subway:

4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R & W trains to Union Square – cross 14th Street to south side of Union Square
F & V trains to 14th Street/6th Avenue – walk 3 blocks east on south side of 14th Street
1, 2 & 3 trains to 14th Street – walk 4 blocks east on south side of 14th Street
A, C & E trains to 14th Street/8th Avenue – walk 5 blocks east on south side of 14th Street

QRO Coverage:

-St. Vincent, May 5th, 2009 – photos

-A.C. Newman (with Nicole Atkins), January 20th, 2009 – photos

-Ra Ra Riot, August 19th, 2008 – photos

-Grizzly Bear, November 7th, 2007 – photos

Grizzly Bear

Live Videos:

St. Vincent – “Actor Out of Work”, New York, NY, 5/5/09
St. Vincent – “Laughing With a Mouth of Blood”, New York, NY, 5/5/09
A.C. Newman – “On the Table”, New York, NY, 1/20/09
A.C. Newman – “Submarines of Stockholm”, New York, NY, 1/20/09
A.C. Newman – “The Changeling (Get Guilt)”, New York, NY, 1/20/09
Ra Ra Riot – “Ghost Under Rocks”, New York, NY, 8/19/08
Ra Ra Riot – “Can You Tell?”, New York, NY, 8/19/08
Grizzly Bear – “While You Wait For the Other”, New York, NY, 11/7/07

Click here for the venue’s website

Venue Reviews

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