Sep 23, 201101:26 PMResident Tourist
Mary J. Blige opens The Fillmore
In 2004, after five years of redevelopment, a playful marketing campaign got the word out that Silver Spring had finally “sprung.”
Last night, as I entered downtown’s new concert venue, The Fillmore, to see Mary J. Blige, I felt the biggest bounce since the AFI’s Silver Theatre rolled out the red carpet for its first Silver Docs film festival eight years ago.
With the opening of The Fillmore, downtown Silver Spring has made another giant leap toward being a hip destination.
Unfortunately, the palpable excitement amongst the people in line, dressed up to see one of the greatest R&B singers around, began to wane after the first hour of line standing.
Doors were supposed to open at 7, but at 8 we were still making friends with MJB fans in front of and behind us while watching the mounted police patrol the streets.
The Golden Flame, an overlooked bar on Fenton, must have seen a nice up-tick in its nightly receipts thanks to frustrated concertgoers, eager to keep their spirits up (and their hair dry), who ducked into the throwback cocktail lounge for flavored vodka or a glass of wine.
Finally, after dark, we reached the fancy LA-style front door canopies and the wands of security guards.
Once inside, moods lifted as high as the crystal chandeliers sparkling over the wooden dance floor. The Fillmore is both elegant and cool, a spacious interior with bars aplenty, dramatic lighting and vibrant concert posters decorating the walls.
When the venue remedies its inexplicable entry delays, I can’t imagine a better local place to see your favorite performer.
Season ticket holders get seats on the second level perimeter with great views of the stage and the crowd below.
Mary J. had the crowd singing along as they held cell phones and cameras aloft, recording the memorable scene.