Monday, June 11, 2007

Who Wants the World?

I was talking to my friend Will Briarwood a little while ago – he gave me a quick call to make sure I had seen a news story about our least favorite music venue.

“Did you see that story in the Tribune, that the World is for sale?”

You must mean the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, formerly the Tweeter Center, formerly the World Music Something-or-other -- I saw the story in Greg Kot’s blog.

“I think he called it ‘under-performing amphitheater.’”

I think he also said that the concert industry in general has had some performance anxieties lately.

“Heh heh – he said ‘performance anxieties.’”

I think the worst sound I ever experienced at an arena show was one of the Lilith Fair shows that covivant and I saw there. It was muddy, and it was boomy – just terrible.

“And I assume that Sarah and company didn’t have the sound cranked up that high.”

Not really.

“We’ve discussed this before – if you were in the middle of the seats, rather than the left or the right side, then the sound was not quite as bad.”

I don’t think I’ve been there for years, thankfully.

“I saw the Springsteen show there last year.”

Kot mentioned that show in his article, didn’t he. Let me find what he said, here it is:

“The nadir came last year when Bruce Springsteen, who normally packs stadiums, attracted only a few thousand fans to the amphitheater for a concert devoted to his folk-oriented 2006 album ‘We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions.’

Springsteen fans, among the most devoted in rock, stayed away because, many of them said, they didn’t want to fight midweek rush-hour expressway traffic and shell out $92 for a ticket at a charmless venue.”

“I was down near the front that night – it was a great show, by the way -- and I think there were more than just a few thousand fans there. But yes, it was a pain-in-the-butt to get there on a weeknight.”

I think my worst ever traffic experience also involved the World – I think it might have been my first time there, it took us three hours to get there from Oak Park.

“The article also said that it’s Live Nation who is trying to sell the place – didn’t Jam used to own it?”

I think so.

“I seem to recall an interview Kot did years ago, with those two mopes at Jam, and they acted like they were offended when he brought up the awful sound of the place.”

Maybe it will sound better when it’s a subdivision in a few years.

“Imagine living in a house, on property where Bruce Springsteen, or Neil Young, or U2 once stood.”

Maybe they’ll call it the Midwest Tweeter World subdivision.

“How about the Springsteen Young Bono Estates. Start printing those sales brochures now.”

No comments: