The Criterion

The Criterion, Oklahoma City: Address, The Criterion Reviews: 3/5

The Criterion
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3.0
29 reviews
Excellent
11
Very good
3
Average
2
Poor
3
Terrible
10

OKCDiners
Oklahoma City, OK10 contributions
Couples
First time trip to the Criterion on 5/11/16 for a Sturgill Simpson concert. I had high expectations for this new entertainment venue in OKC but came away extremely disappointed.
First issue - They aren't prepared to efficiently deal with a high volume of people. The building has one, very limited entry point. I'm guessing there were several thousand people in a series of random lines snaking out into the streets. A slow process. This will be a nightmare in winter months or in any inclement weather. Once inside there appears to be only two minimally staffed bar areas to serve thousands of attendees. Another nightmare.
Second and most significant issue - An absolutely horrible sound system. In fact, there doesn't appear to be a sound system in the auditorium. It seems reliant on whatever the band has with them. Sturgill is great but in the balcony you couldn't understand a word he was saying between songs and if you didn't already know his music you wouldn't be able to decipher the lyrics either.
Since there is very limited seating (handicapped only) it can be difficult for average height and shorter fans to see the stage. The advantage of SRO is you can at least attempt to move around in hopes of finding a better listening spot. We moved from the balcony to the main floor, near the back. The sound quality there was still bad but better than upstairs.
As a music lover, this concert experience was a major disappointment. If these kinds of issues frustrate you then be forewarned. It's great that OKC is expanding the live venue scene but I find it hard to believe this place is going to make it unless some significant steps are taken to improve upon what should have been done right in the first place.
Written May 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tammie M
Norman, Oklahoma, USA29 contributions
I paid almost $50 for a ticket with an assigned seat but when I got there I was seated in a cheap, VERY uncomfortable folding chair so close to the other people who were seated near me I was kicked in the back by the man behind me who was crossing his legs. I think they were trying to squeeze a few more tickets in but the chairs were so flimsy & uncomfortable, I couldn't even enjoy the show. The coordination of staff could have been a little better after the show as well. There was no direction for who needed to go where for meet & greets with the performers & to keep the line flowing for the merchandise booth It just seemed chaotic & disorganized after the show. The actual permanent chairs seemed ok, even though they were not cushioned, they were bolted to the floor so they were not moving.
Written September 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NomptonMichael
2 contributions
We went last night to see AJR and I came away with a few perceptions about the Criterion.

Pros:

The stage and setting are all great. The balcony setup is a great way to get people a different perspective of the stage, and the smaller venue setup is a nice way to see a show.

The bathrooms are relatively clean (considering it's a concert, they're great), the bar staff was effective and efficient, and when there was a spill (either drinks or the people who couldn't handle their drinks and puked all over the floor) it was quickly dealt with.

Drinks were decent, although way pricey for what they are ($8 for a 12 oz. can of domestic). I give a bit of a pass here, it is a venue, so plan accordingly. They also take card, which while becoming more common still isn't common for a good number of music venues.

Parking is quick and easy. You can park at Bass Pro for free, or you can pay $5 for parking immediately south of the venue; either way, it's easy and relatively inexpensive parking.

Cons:

The balcony risers do little to give you any angle towards the stage, and if you're under 6 feet tall (I'm well over, but my wife and daughter are well under), even on the risers you'll never even be able to see the tops of the heads of the performers.

The biggest con, and the entire reason you go to a show...

The sound here is horrible. I. Mean. TERRIBLE. It's all bass, no mids or highs, so every lyric and instrument (if it's not a bass or a kick drum) is completely muddy and muddled. I thought it might have been a sound setup issue with the band the first time I heard it, but second show there and it's just as problematic as it was the first time. Oddly, since having this experience, a good number of other concert goers have said the same exact thing.

The sound issue makes the show there flat, unexciting, and almost tiresome. Even when the band talked with the crowd, with all instruments silent and vocals only going, it was a struggle to understand what was being said. Mind you, I'm young-ish and have solid hearing. That's not the issue. It's totally the sound.

Such a disappointment.
Written October 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Erica
Tulsa, OK1 contribution
Friends
The venue setup is decent enough, however I went to see Kesha last night and saw a disturbing encounter. A trans woman went into the women’s restroom as I was walking out. No patron was bothered or walked up to complain, but as I was walking out a “security” guard was walking to the bathroom very loudly exclaiming “I don’t care what HE is wearing HE can’t go into the women’s bathroom”.. at this point I was nosy and went back in the restroom.. the security guard proceeded to have the womens bathroom attendant POUND ON ALL THE STALL DOORS and kicked this poor woman out for no reason. Disgusting. Not an inclusive environment and I won’t be returning to this venue again. This “security guard” went out of his way to single out a trans woman that most people wouldn’t have even had a second thought about. Maybe do an actual security job instead of policing bathroom stalls from a threat that doesn’t exist.

I complained to one security guard who referred me to the “supervisor” who very clearly did not care since his response was a sarcastic “yeah I’ll make a note of it”.
Written August 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Christine Sterkel
1 contribution
The Criterion is the best mid-size live music venue in Oklahoma. Great place to see shows, and always feels intimate regardless of where your tickets are. The bookings are diverse. Definitely suggest coming here to see your favorites.
Written March 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sbarna75002
United States6 contributions
Lindsey Stirling was Amazing. Criterion venue … not so much. 75 for a seat. that was behind a pole support for the upstairs balcony. Very grateful that Lindsey moved around so much else it would have been a disaster.

So beware of section A. the pole is seats 7 or 8 of row 9. make sure to triangulate from there else you are going to spend the night like a pendulum rocking side to side.
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tulsabobt
Tulsa, OK140 contributions
Couples
I'm an avid concert goer and have been to several thousand live events in my lifetime, from tiny clubs to arenas to stadiums and the Criterion by far is the worst venue I've ever been in. In a word, it's cheap. I'll highlight from start to finish:
Box Office is outside. Oklahoma has moderate weather about 90 days a year. Terrible idea. I'm sure they did not want to give up any space inside so leave the patrons in the cold/heat/rain/wind.
One small entrance- trying to get a couple thousand people in through 6 single doors with ticket takers blocking each one. And because the ticket takers are so close, no way to switch lines to an empty one. Cattle chute basically.
Acoustics are awful, as others have stated.if you are in the balcony you will hear the people around you as much as the performer. Some of the loudest voices are the bartenders!
Chairs are cheap, thin plastic. I only weigh 185 and I was afraid to put my weight on it! These are those chairs you buy at a warehouse for $10 each at most. Horribly uncomfortable (we saw a comedian so sitting most of time) and jammed close together, no cup holders, no place to even put a drink on the floor. You will hold everything you brought the entire time while you squirm in pain.
Upstairs view is partially blocked by railing. They should have invested in plexiglass.Big horizontal rails going across performers face if you are lucky enough to be in the middle rows.
Two large projectors on each side, but the one cameraman kept looking at his phone so you would see the screen jerk every few minutes when he realized he was not following the performer any more. They camera was never zoomed so the performer on screen was smaller than the actual performer. Better off without the camera/screens at all.
Bathrooms did not work. The sinks are the kind where you wave your hand to get the water to come out, but they did not work. In the men's bathroom there was a big discussion about this and one guy got one sink to come on and everyone waited for it.
The SECOND the lights came up the security guy was sweeping us out of the balcony. The perfomer was not even off stage yet.
There appears to have been a little investment in the sound and lights. Lighting on stage was decent and sound was clear. However, I only saw a speaker, so a band might have acoustic issues in a place like this. It's warehouse style, just a big box really.
After the show, we walked 2 blocks to a parking garage because the Criterion has zero parking, even though two large empty lots were roped off behind it.
With so many great venues in OKC and Tulsa, thankfully I will never have to go back and can wait to see my favorite artist at another place.
Written December 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chasclm
Edmond, OK44 contributions
Couples
These guys are great musicians. Show is augmented by a giant visual projection screen behind band and a light show. New smaller theatre. Our seats were excellent but if you book to either side, the balcony overhang with partially obscure screen.
Written June 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ACope
Yukon, OK63 contributions
We attended a private event at the Criterion. A new property built on the east end of Sheridan in Bricktown. Has a stage on one end and a bar/concessions on the other end with open floor plan in between. Much like the casino venues around the state. Depending on the number of attendees, the bathrooms may be a little on the light side. We will attend a concert in August and be able to report back.
Written June 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

b l
Dallas, TX905 contributions
Couples
We came here to see The XX in October. It is a great venue with a decent view from the balcony. The drinks were reasonable and there were plenty of women's restroom stalls to handle the crowd. The acoustics were good and it is a great place to see a concert!
Written November 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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