Photograph: Amanda Hatfield

Action Bronson Shuts Webster Hall Down, Literally

Bam Bam Baklava knows how to do epic. This is the mad Albanian genius who has shown a willingness to do almost anything to satisfy his audiences’ various appetities, having thrown bags of weed, Peter Luger steaks, even a flat screen TV into crowds at various shows. So when it was announced that Action Bronson would be the final performer to grace the Grand Ballroom stage at Webster Hall, before the legendary NYC venue closes for two years’ of demolition and renovation the choice seemed appropriate.

Built in 1886, and variouslly rechristened “The Devil’s Playground” and “The Ritz,” Webster Hall has long been NYC’s #1 nightclub for over a century, playing host to everyone from Marcel Duchamp to Madonna. The burden of expectations was considerable, yet even with all the #EndOfAnEra anticipation, last night’s performance did not disappoint.


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Although the only thing he threw was a water bottle, Bronson did serve up generous portions of his highly anticipated Blue Chips 7000 album—including “Let Me Breathe” and “The Chairman’s Intent.” He also smashed an electric guitar (the moment we saw it onstage we knew that thing was doomed) and brought out Westside Gunn and Conway to further wreck shit, causing the alarmingly elastic ballroom floor in the ballroom to bounce up and down like a trampoline.

Bronson closed his historic set with The Alchemist spinning the beat from Tracy Chapman’s “Gimme One Reason.” When his rap was complete he did not, in fact, turn right back around. Which was somehow fitting. And after the lights came up a thoughful silence filled the venue. There were piles of plastic cups everywhere, one audience member being attended to by an EMS crew, $30 commemorative T-shirts on sale, and too many memories to count.



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