Tuesday, October 9, 2012

i prefer a small venue

After I went to see Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby perform, and anticipating the upcoming Nick Lowe show (which is this coming Sunday, by the by), my wife found a deal on Bruce Springsteen tickets. Half price to see him at the Meadowlands (technically, Met Life Park, or whatever it is that they call the big football stadium where the Giants and Jets play their home games).

I passed.

$60 for a ticket to see a concert at a huge venue like that doesn't really appeal. The problem with huge venues is that I don't really feel like I'm seeing the musician live. I'm so far away that all I can see is specks on the stage. I know that that speck in the middle is Bruce Springsteen (or whoever, depending on the show), but I can't really see him. There are lots of big screens to help out, but I may as well be watching a screen at home. Never mind the traffic and other logistics of getting to such a show -- although I'll admit that that is particular to the show. A concert at Shea Stadium Citifield would be easy for me to get to but still has the other drawbacks.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean to diminish Springsteen. I know he's a great performer and showman. I'm told he puts on four hecks of a show. And I even like a godd bit of his music, though I could hardly be classified as a rabid fan. But the downsides of such a show are just too much.

In that sense I am lucky that my favorite musicians aren't exactly household names. My ticket to see Amy and Eric was $15. I was sitting maybe ten feet from the stage -- and I could've been closer if I'd wanted. I could feel the vibrations when Eric jumped. And it's not because the sounds were amplified. I could see the strings on his bass quivering. I could see his face squished in concentration. When Amy broke a guitar string I could see it dangling from the headstock. I could see it getting in the way of her fingers on the frets. And I don't mean that I could see it in an image projected on a Jumbotron. Looking directly at her guitar I could see the strings and the fingers and the frets themselves. That's more esciting than anything I'd see at the Meadowlands. And I talked to Eric and Amy before and after the show. I got to connect with the performer.

And the upcoming show... $45 for my ticket -- yes that's significantly higher than the Eric and Amy ticket, but Nick Lowe is a bigger draw for a variety of reasons. At any rate, it's still cheaper than the Springsteen ticket would have been, and that would have been half price already. My ticket is in the tenth row, just off-center. As with the Eric show, I'll be close enough to see everything. It won't be quite as intimate -- this is a real theatre with seats -- and assigned seats at that -- while the other was the basement of a bar. but it'll still be good

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