The National at Radio City
We were asked to see something at Madison Square Garden this summer and although I won't be here, I have absolutely zero interest. I thought that Radio City is as big as I get. Not sure I want to even get that big.
The National put on a pretty good show. The Antlers came out first which we missed most of the show but they I like them too. Some parts were better than others. I do love the sound and songs from the National. But the lead singer said something that resonated. In the front row there were 20 open seats that must have been held for VIPs that didn't show. He told the audience to come on down because there were some extra seats in the front row. Then he said something that I have heard before from artists at Radio City, he couldn't see past the first couple of rows. The way the lighting works, it is difficult for the performers on stage to see the audience. That is why I prefer the smaller venues.
When you go to a small club or see an off-Broadway show in a small theater, the artists react to the audience. They see the audience, they hear the audience and they can feel the vibe in the house. It creates something more intimate and generally something special.
Many of the artists now hitting MSG and Radio City, we saw 5 years ago or less in tiny venues like Bowery Ballroom. I am thrilled to see the artists success because concerts is where the money is made for them but I might have to remain the fan that sees the performance at the start when there is more of an edge than when they grow into larger venues. I just miss the intimacy.