At this time of year we’re all thinking about what we can be thankful for and so let’s count our blessings while looking at the music world I am thankful that….
11. Madonna started her August show at the Wells Fargo Center at 10:30 p.m. Fans, who were outraged at the crazy delay, didn’t know what they were jeering about. Madonna didn’t take the stage in Miami on Monday night until 11:30 p.m. The poor fans, who are still trying to get over how the Miami Marlins traded all of their best players after the citizens funded a new pleasure palace, had to wait for three-and-half-hours for Madge to appear. That’s way worse than what those in Philly endured. And we still have Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz.
12. Four Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band shows. Even as the act approach their twilight years, there is no act like the Boss and his E Streeters. The Wells Fargo shows in March were fabulous but the stadium shows in September were on another level since Bruce and friends put on two very different shows. Who else puts out such an effort? Next up for the Boss, a big Hurricane Sandy benefit in December at Madison Square Garden with a bunch of other notable artists.
3. The return of Fiona Apple. Apple put on a pair of the finest concerts this year. The unpredictable singer-songwriter was brilliant at the Tower in June and four months later at Caesars Atlantic City. It had been seven years since her last album and tour and Apple showed no ill effects.
4. Speaking of Caesars Atlantic City, be thankful if you did not attend Ringo Starr’s show. Nothing against Ringo. A typically professional performance by the former Beatle. However, I don’t ever remember attending a concert with a more lifeless, cranky crowd. A teenager was yelled at for standing when Starr took the stage. Only seven fans left their seats during a rendition of ‘Yellow Submarine.’ The word was that Ringo’s fans were much more lively in New York. Just a strange night in AC.
6. Metallica’s Orion Festival was exceptional. The two-day event at Atlantic City’s Bader Field in June was exceptional. It wasn’t just for headbangers. Emerging pop-rockers Best Coast and alt-rockers Modest Mouse were among the non-metalists on the bill. There was a surfing competition courtesy of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo and a cool horror memorabilia station thanks to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett. And then there was Metallica, which hasn’t lost a step. Hopefully Orion will return to AC next year.
7. Pete Townshend’s book signing at the University of Pennsylvania last month was so loopy and entertaining as the Who visionary spun yarns and played solo acoustic for a half-hour. So memorable and ‘Who I Am,’ his memoir, is a real page-turner.