When I first heard that David Guetta was coming to the Midwest I knew I had to go. He was playing at a small venue in Columbus, Ohio called BoMA. BoMA, the Bar of Modern Art, actually resides in an old church. The building was renovated into a music venue as well as a place to hold private events like wedding receptions and art exhibits.
When first driving by BoMA you would never think that a DJ from the other side of the world would manage to land a show here. The outside still looks like a church and unless you saw the BoMA painted on the two columns out front you might not ever know there was a venue here. There were even carvings on the entranceway, above the door, that said the name of the church as it was originally built.
When you first walk into BoMA you again are hit with that church feeling. There is a coat check to the right, but the hallways and even the smell remind you of Sunday morning services. Straight ahead you will see the dance floor and to the left and right staircases leading you onto the second floor.
Upstairs you find yet more bars, a VIP section and even a third floor with designer couches and chairs for your comfort. A cool feature of BoMA are the bars themselves. Each of the seven bars were actually designed by an established artist. Each bar has a different color scheme and provides a different design to keep you always guessing as to the inspiration behind the creation.
On the walls of BoMA you will also see original artwork that has been provided by local, Columbus-based artists. The pieces are all for sale ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. There were pieces of photography (that had obvious Photoshop treatment done to them) and even pieces built out of colored pencil and foam core construction. The art itself made this place feel like a First Friday Gallery Tour here in the heart of Indianapolis. (Actually, the entire city of Columbus had a very Indianapolis feel about it. I felt at home driving around the city.) It made the building have a certain level of depth to it as well.
The VIP section has two bars itself. There are tables on the left and the right, and two bars at the back of the room. It forms an almost U shape and you can see the entire dance floor and stage from nearly anywhere.
On the dance floor itself you can see the arched ceilings and the true detail that went into the design of this church when it was originally build. You can almost close your eyes and envision people walking down the aisle to get married on the stage where you are about to see a DJ spin records. There are various hallways leading to the back of the church as well as exits for easy access to and from the venue. There were even smaller rooms on the side of the dance floor that you could visit and basically just about get lost in the four walls of BoMA.
Downstairs you will find bathrooms and even more room for escape. The main restrooms, however, are on the second floor down a very long hallway. Down this hallway you will find both men and women’s restrooms, an ATM, and what appear to be obviously hand crafted lights hanging from the high ceilings. Once inside the restroom (both men and women) you will find private stalls and quite possibly the coolest bathroom sinks that I have ever seen. They are extremely hard to describe but any sink that requires a little experimentation to figure out how to use definitely fit in the category of modern art.
BoMA is an incredible venue and I would venture to say there is no way more than a thousand people could fit in this place at once. The stage is rather small, but still the main focus of the venue as everything forces the eye to the front. From the time you walk into BoMA until the time you leave you are confused as to whether you are here for a Sunday church service or you are here for a rock show. BoMA is dark, secluded, and inspiring, but is the perfect place to see a show. Anywhere that can combine music, art, spirits, and fellowship is alright with me. BoMA puts a whole new meaning to the term concert venue.