When you enter Big Night Live, you can’t help but notice it first.
The art piece, titled “Navigating Never Never Land Where the Music Never Sleeps,” hangs in the foyer of the West End’s latest concert venue, between Guy Fieri’s Mexican concept restaurant and the entrance to a VIP event space.
Created by a Thai street artist named Ids, it’s a striking composition, a black-and-white marker drawing of a crowded cityscape built from curios. Bright splashes of spray-painted graffiti bring out some — a Godzilla rearing up, a rose blooming — while others, like an elephant with X-ed out eyes, still pop in monochrome.
It’s a lavish touch, to be sure, and that’s the point.
Grandeur is central to the appeal of Big Night Live, at 110 Causeway St., whose owners see the newly opened location as answering a call for higher-end live-music experiences in the Boston area. The 40,000-square-foot venue opened its doors on Oct. 31, with a sold-out double-bill of EDM duos Gorgon City and Camelphat. It plans to program more than 200 artists per year, enough to rival venues like the House of Blues and the adjacent TD Garden.
“There’s nothing like Big Night Live in this city, really in the country,” said co-owner Ed Kane, who spoke alongside co-owner Randy Greenstein while giving a tour — past Guy’s Tequila Cocina, already well-populated by 4 p.m. on a weekday, and weaving through Studio B, a “flex space” that can accommodate 440, into the concert hall itself, which can hold 1,200 (or 715 for seated events).
“It’s a unique hybrid of so many things people want under one roof, that should exist but doesn’t really anywhere else,” Kane said. “You go to a music hall, you usually wait outside in the cold. Here you have the luxury of hanging around, getting a bite to eat first. It’s all in this one location."
Boston’s newest nightclub and music spot — a cornerstone of the Hub on Causeway, the West End’s largest-scale development since TD Garden — suggests a ritzy Las Vegas lounge crossed with an industrial warehouse. It’s the latest in a spree of recent openings for Big Night Entertainment Group, which is also behind the Seaport’s Grand nightclub and Mystique and Mémoire, a restaurant and club combo inside the Encore Boston Harbor casino.
Greenstein and the Kanes (Ed and his brother Joe) have grown their Big Night Entertainment Group into the Boston area’s reigning nightlife authority since founding the company in 2006. As established across a dozen clubs, restaurants, and bars in Massachusetts, their brand is luxury.
Walking around the Big Night Live space, as such, is a bit like touring a New York art gallery. Red crystal chandeliers hang from high ceilings. Draped across wood-finished walls, Venetian curtains add a splash of vivid color, while photographs and original art pieces keep the eye busy. The concert hall has a tiered structure, with the lowest level closest to the stage; its construction is less aggressive than that of a stadium, but it’s an attempt to remedy the age-old concertgoer’s dilemma of craning to see around beanpoles and big hair all the same. “Everyone’s just a little bit above the person in front of them,” explained Greenstein.
“Our goal was to make sure everyone had a great sightline,” added Kane.
Big Night Live also features a state-of-the-art Funktion-One model that’s regarded by some as the Maserati of sound systems.
“Our goal was really to have the best-sounding room in the entire country,” said Kane. In order to construct the concert hall, they spent millions to “build a better mousetrap,” as Kane puts it, placing the room’s floor, ceiling, and sides on isolators to absorb internally created vibrations while killing outside noise (including any cheers drifting over from Bruins or Celtics games). Acoustic panels line the sides, which are made up of floor-to-ceiling windows that can open and close with the flip of a switch, sealing in sound.
“It’s basically a box within a box,” said Greenstein. “This whole room is virtually floating, with nothing touching the structure.”
Hours after this interview, ska-punk act the Interrupters took the stage; later in the week, Erykah Badu performed, marking Big Night Live’s first R&B performance. “Every night’s the first, for a while,” said Greenstein. But they’re already working to bring in heavy hitters from all genres, from hip-hop titan Rick Ross (on Nov. 22) to hometown-hero alt-rockers the Pixies (Dec. 11).
“We want the room to be very eclectic and something different every night,” said Greenstein. “This whole time, our vision was House of Blues meets the Grand, us taking our nightclub background and combining it with a concert space.”
It gives you a sense of the pair’s ambition that they approached Elton John about a possible appearance at Big Night Live, coinciding with his TD Garden stop this month. The singer ultimately balked at the idea of extending his evening past an almost-three hour set. But Big Night Live plans to keep looking beyond the EDM set typically sought to spin at nightclubs.
When BNEG first became interested in developing a project at the Hub on Causeway, the group partnered with concert promoter Live Nation and its president, Don Law, on what was originally planned as a bowling alley crossed with a music hall. “And then halfway through," Greenstein recalled, "Ed calls me and says, ‘What do you think of getting rid of the bowling?’”
Switching tracks to pursue what would be an upscale, exclusive music venue turned out to be a prescient choice. In the five years since BNEG started developing Big Night Live, the Seaport has exploded as a social spot for young professionals, rescued from inaccessibility by the rise of ride-sharing apps. “A lot of this is luck,” said Kane. “With Uber, the Boston scene exploded.”
The city "is as hot as it’s ever been, without a doubt,” agreed Greenstein. “Even though it cost us a fortune to build this place, we think that by providing that next-level experience, big things are going to happen. The market’s there for a venue like this.”
Big Night Live is still in its first weeks, and both Kane and Greenstein agree they’ll spend at least the next six months ironing out finer details. But one tweak, the owners said, took no time at all to implement.
“On night one, we didn’t have lasers onstage,” said Greenstein. “On day two, we got them in. Now? Oh my God. Can’t live without them.”