Thursday, March 26, 2009

Does the Bradley Center Stage Move?

I don't really care that the Jonas Brothers are coming to Milwaukee. Why I'm posting about them is because I overheard a coworker discussing her attempt to purchase tickets with another employee. The Jonas Brothers were selling their Bradley Center Tickets through various sponsorship events. My coworker was trying her best to buy some tickets for her 12 year old daughter. The Jonas Brothers shows do not feature your traditional "end stage" setup. They have built a stage in the center of the venue. That's what they call "in the round." They can optimize all seating if they perform in the round.

Sometimes the center portion of the stage will spin when it is in the round. The world famous, and what some would say, "greatest singer in the world," Celine Dion had a rotating stage.

I don't think that The Jonas Brothers' stage will rotate, but you never know. What was amusing to me was the comment by my coworker. She asked the ticket salesperson "does the stage move?" I could tell that the ticket salesperson on the other end had no idea what she meant. I could also tell that her reply was something like, "No ma'am, stages stay in one place. That would be dangerous."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ms. Sara & The Help - Fortune Flower

Sometimes the best music you discover is not hyped by the corporate machine. Let me back up and say that MOST of the best music you discover is passed on to you from a friend. Fortune Flower by Ms. Sara & The Help was literally passed on to me over my back yard fence. It's big.

The first three numbers are powerful. There is plenty to listen to in those songs. Each band member gets their chance to shine. There's no tripping up, or propping up for that matter. The band is top-notch. Sara's vocal strength doesn't distract from the band either. It's right in the pocket. Big powerful songs are a bit easier to play, sing, etc. The test of any great vocalist is how they handle the low, light songs. Dirtybird, (cut number four) shows that Sara's got what it takes. Yes, even Dirtybird ratchets up a bit during some parts, but you won't mind that a bit.
9-5 has that radio friendly feel. That's perfectly fine, because we should be hearing it on the radio soon enough. I almost think that this could be a contemporary country number. All it needs is a touch of steel guitar, and a couple drawl hooks from Sara, and there you are. That's not a rip, I'm just hearing it like that.
Working my way down the the last four songs, I'm hearing a reggae number that lets Sara hit some sweet highs. I must admit that the song could drop right into the mix of the pop top 20, but is that a bad thing? Forgive me for saying this, but I hear Lilly Allen there.
Anabel Lee drops way down to a grey, deep, and dark world. Jimmy Dynamo is deep into the cd, and I'm happy about that. Sara's vocals are too good to be working that angle too hard. Rapid fire rock styling is something she need not waste her time on. Last To Tell Ya is a stripped down, rainy day on the bayou with a woman who's got "a straight razor in her right hand and bubble gum in the other".
I'm not a music critic, and I don't pretend to be one. But when someone gives you something sweet to listen to, you have to pass it over the fence. I will be passing this one on to my friends for sure.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Miller Park Now a Venue For Concerts

Whoa, it’s freaky! Just a few posts back, I spoke about Miller Park being a concert venue. I talked about what the field conditions would be like after forty-thousand fans trampled the grass, etc. I suppose that we will come to know all about that in due time, because Miller Park management announced that they have partnered with Summerfest president Don Smiley to bring shows to the largest indoor venue in Wisconsin.

As expected, the shows would have to be large events that require weatherproofing. Miller Park can be climate controlled to a certain point, but cannot accommodate events in the winter. It is a rain-or-shine venue to be sure. My mind wanders, as I think about the events that could be held there. The first thing that comes to mind would be the back end of some festival that draws numbers as large as Coachella. The parking lot could hold pre-show events, weather permitting, and the interior of Miller Park could be configured to provide reserved seating and general admission areas on the grass.

When I saw Pink Floyd at County Stadium, I sat near the top of the upper deck. I was as far away from the stage as one could get. I experienced an echo of grand proportions that night. Yes, sound engineers can adjust for p.a. mixing issues, but who wants to be the first band to test out the sound at Miller Park?

This agreement may also come in handy, should it last through the Harley Davidson 110th anniversary rally. It was interesting to see the bands in the Miller Park parking lot, but it would have been better to see them in the park itself.