It's Oct. 1 and with its first show closing in fast, Little Rock's newest concert and event venue is still a construction zone.
Workers are busy transforming what was most recently Copy Systems at 712 Ninth St., into The Hall, the almost 12,000-square-foot spot for music, parties, weddings, conventions, corporate events and other occasions.
R&B hit-maker Ledisi will be the venue's first headliner at 8 p.m. Saturday. Kenyon Dixon will open the show.
Ledisi's latest album, "Ledisi Sings Nina," is a tribute to one of her heroes, Nina Simone, and features seven of Simone's most popular songs. It's her 10th studio album and follows last year's "The Wild Card," which included the single "Anything for You." The track won Ledisi her first Grammy, for best traditional R&B performance, earlier this year.
"We are super excited to have her. She is so amazing and is a wonderful artist," says Miranda Hall, The Hall's venue manager.
Other acts scheduled to perform in the new space include country duo Muscadine Bloodline on Oct. 23, country rapper Jelly Roll on Oct. 29 (that show is sold out), rapper Nelly on Nov. 17, Prince tribute band The Prince Project on Nov. 19, country singer-songwriter Drake White on Nov. 20 and more. See littlerockhall.com for more listings and information.
The Hall is owned by Nashville-Tenn.-based Marathon Live, which also owns venues Marathon Music Works in Nashville, The Signal in Chattanooga and The Truman in Kansas City. Mo., Hall says. Marathon Live also handles music booking, she adds.
Hall is leading a quick tour of the facilities, which include three green rooms, a production office, bathrooms, a mezzanine (which will offer great views of the stage) and three bars. There is also a catering kitchen and restrooms.
Standing-room capacity is about 1,300, Hall says, and about 500-700 depending on seated dining.
The venue's large stage is portable, so it can be removed to make space for other happenings at the site, she adds. Concert sound is handled by Little Rock company CWP Productions, Hall says.
With its size, The Hall hopes to fill a niche in the concert market for acts that have outgrown venues like the Rev Room, Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack, Vino's Brew Pub, White Water Tavern and others.
"They are all a part of our community," Hall says of the clubs. "[Artists that play] Stickyz or Rev Room, we want to see them grow to a 1,300-person venue. This is just a different experience that wasn't here. We want to support and grow the community for the music."
Hall says that there are plans to have food trucks at concerts and that parking is available in the Hall's lot and on the street.
Speaking of streets, Ninth Street was once the heart of Little Rock's Black business and entertainment district. The Hall sits catty-corner from Taborian Hall, the 1918 building that now houses Arkansas Flag and Banner, Inc., and the legendary Dreamland Ballroom. Music giants Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Otis Redding and more performed at Dreamland.
"West Ninth street is historic and rich in music history," Hall says. "We're really excited to see it be something fun and new for the community to enjoy."
Opening act: Kenyon Dixon
When & Where: 8 p.m. Saturday, The Hall, 712 Ninth St., Little Rock
Information: (501) 406-1364 | littlerockhall.com