Live music in Baltimore is about to become much more flavorful. What used to be the Eight by Ten club just a little over a year ago in Federal Hill is now the Funk Box, a 400-plus capacity, live performance venue scheduled to open Sept. 4 with a string of national touring acts to be announced at a later date.
"This is more than a live performance venue," says Dave Rather, a Baltimore businessman owner of Mother's Federal Hill Grille. He's also one of the financial backers of the Funk Box. "We've built a visually stunning club that is acoustically superior with multiple sight lines to ensure the concert-goer can connect to the performance."
The Funk Box, an 8,000-square-foot, multilevel $2.5 million redevelopment at 8-10 E. Cross St., features an onsite box office. According to a press release, the interior is slick and urban with a "mood wall," a multi-color changing wall of lights that reacts to the heat in the room. As you get your groove on out on the floor, you may notice a little lift under your feet. Another specialty feature at the Funk Box is an "elastic dance floor," which is mounted on fixed joints and springs. Black hardwood floors run through the joint and a wrap-around balcony allows patrons to take in the performances.
"The Funk Box is much more than just another nightclub in Baltimore," says Tim Walther, president of the Maryland-based Walther Productions, the primary in-house talent buyer. "It's the beginning of a new era of quality live club shows where the bands and the fans alike will appreciate the efforts we have made to do things right."
The club, which holds the only live music license in Federal Hill, will bring acts from various genres: rock, pop, jazz, R&B;, bluegrass, reggae, Latin, fusion. The Funk Box will also hold open-mike nights for local talent.