Billy, Bruce and Barack
It was announced this week that two local legends will be joining forces for a concert in the name of Barack Obama. Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen, neither a stranger to individually selling out multiple nights at stadiums around the country, will co-headline the relatively intimate Hammerstein Ballroom on October 16th. This will go down one night after the final presidential debate at Long Island's Hofstra University, kicking off the campaign’s home stretch leading up to Election Day. Tickets range from $500 for the nosebleeds to $10,000 premiere "lounge" seats, and are still available here, though it appears the, ahem, cheap seats have already sold out.
An Echo Anniversary
This week, Echo and the Bunnymen played their only recent US date at Radio City Music Hall with a performance of their celebrated album, Ocean Rain. Founding members Ian McCullough and Will Sergeant are all that is left of the group that created the album in the early 80s, but it still remains a landmark achievement of the band, which is celebrating their 30 year anniversary this fall. The concert felt like the type of show McCullough might have dreamed he'd be playing 25+ years after creating his self-proclaimed "best record ever made." The stage was grand and the fans were passionate, but there was a ringing hollowness to the evening that went beyond the near empty top balcony of Radio City. This is a band that always aspired to be larger than life, but the reality is that they never approached these heights. The band still sounds great and their handful of genuine hits ring through better than ever, but to a casual fan that might have found themselves at Radio City on Wednesday, there were long gaps of unfamiliarity between the true classics. While hardcore fans surely loved it, it only acted as a reminder that in the race for band immortality, Echo ended up falling quite a bit short.
David Berkeley's American Life
This Week on This American Life, Brooklyn singer/songwriter David Berkeley is featured telling a story about a unique concert he was once commissioned to play. The theme of the episode is about people thinking big to solve ordinary situations. In this instance, a man was trying to get back together with his girlfriend, whom he met at a Berkley concert. He hired the performer to play a set, in his apartment, for only the two of them, hoping this grand gesture would reignite feelings between them. Berkley describes both the awkward and the touching moments he witnessed while this epic attempt at restoring a relationship played out. If you're not already listening to the podcast every week (for shame!), it can be downloaded for free here.
Also this Week:
MP3 Experiment attracts "1.5 jabillion"
An interview with Sasha Frere-Jones