Paul Kaplan and Lisa Kleinholz: A suggestion for the Drake

  • Amy Gates, a member of the board of the Downtown Amherst Foundation wipes down chairs and tables in preparation for opening night at the Drake Tuesday, April 26, 2022. GAzette file photo

Thursday, May 05, 2022

We had the pleasure of hearing the Regina Carter late show at the Drake on April 28. The room is beautiful, the lighting perfect, the band was incredible, and the sound from the stage was perfectly balanced and the right volume. The Drake is a wonderful addition to our town. Kudos to all involved in bringing it to life!

We have just one suggestion. Before the show, Gabrielle Gould of Amherst BID and Downtown Amherst, who deserves much of the credit for the Drake’s existence, made a short speech in which she pointed out that this is the first time Amherst has had a room dedicated to music. This is a marvelous achievement, but just creating the space is not enough.

At the Regina Carter concert the persistent hubbub from the back of the room was a constant distraction. We would be much more inclined to continue patronizing the Drake if management could ensure that it actually is a place for music that has a bar and not a bar that has music.

There are plenty of places available locally for those who want to drink and talk, with music in the background. But when we buy concert-priced tickets, we expect a concert-type atmosphere. And if we hope to see performers of Carter’s caliber, we should make sure our audiences show them the respect they deserve.

Paul Kaplan
and Lisa Kleinholz