On June 1, Dr. John brings his unique blend jazz, funk, R&B and rock to the Birchmere. It’s music to dance to, which might make the seated venue an odd choice. But there will be plenty of room to move, as the concert will be one of the first in the Birchmere’s new Flex Stage. It’s a beefed-up version of the standing-room Bandstand area, now with a new stage, new soundsystem and a capacity of 1,000.
The performance area, which officially debuted with a May 10 show by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, will allow the Birchmere to diversify its offerings. The club’s booking agent, Michael Jaworek, said that he is “looking to increase the number of artists appropriate for the space.”
The Flex Stage schedule so far includes acts such as Chris Robinson Brotherhood (of the Black Crowes), a D.C. funk double bill of Red Baraat and the Funk Ark and alt-country rollickers Blitzen Trapper.
The new space, which Jaworek says has been in the planning stages for “quite some time,” is a welcome addition the Alexandria club as the area has suddenly become crowded with mid-sized music venues with the opening of the Fillmore, the Hamilton and the Howard Theatre in the past year.