Free Is Not For Everyone

The person that coined the phrase ‘free is for me,’ probably never attended a concert that was on the house. Last week, my 11-year old daughter and I  happened to be in the vicinity of the South Street Seaport, when Drake appeared for a show open to the public.

More than 10,000 fans crammed the area and perhaps a five-figure fan count doesn’t sound like a big deal in a city as massive as Manhattan but an impact can be made, especially if fans get disruptive, which is how Drake fans could be described.

So a few days ago, it came as no surprise that New York City halted a Jay Z-Eminem performance on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater for ‘The Late Show With David Letterman.’ The tandem performed on the roof of the building, which is fine since it’s private property and only 100 fans could attend.

If the hip-hop icons performed on the marquee along Broadway, such a show could have caused mayhem on the streets.

Sometimes the Fourth of July shows in the Art Museum area get out of hand. Sure, sometimes folks get along but sometimes chaos ensues.

It often doesn’t matter who the performer is when things get out of hand.

I remember the Beach Boys, one of pop-rock’s most innocuous acts, playing a July 4 show a quarter century ago. I witnessed a mother standing on a plastic chair with a toddler in her arms. An obviously drug-addled guy grabbed the seat out from under her as she and child hit the ground. The swarthy guy proceeded to tackle a tween and then tried to strangle him. Within moments four guys punched and kicked the guy and he released the terrified child.

The point is that unsecured shows can be a nightmare. Sure, they can be fun and they could be peaceful but it just takes one unbalanced person to throw everything off. Hopefully the Goo Goo Dolls show on the Fourth will be trouble-free. The city has been scoring some solid entertainment for the biggest summer holiday. The Goo Goo Dolls are still relevant. The veteran pop-rockers will preview tracks from its forthcoming album.

Those who would like to avoid the free show crush, should check out the Goo Goo Dolls the prior night at the Borgata in Atlantic City

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