According to a press release recieved today by the Cream, our local multi-purpose entertainment complex is up for the 2008 Pollstar Concert Industry Arena of the Year Award. This begs the question: Do we have the best most pyro ready enormodome in the nation? Being that all new generation arenas are essentially the same--corporate naming rights, executive suites, sterile aesthetics--what could possibly set an arena apart from the pack, or more importantly what would set our arena apart from the pack? I suppose it is perhaps more comfortable than most as a result of it consistently having the most empty seats. I see more arena rock shows then most people so I think that makes me a decent barometer for this issue.
As some of you already know I have an unhealthy obsession with Bruce Springsteen. Remember that scene in Silence of the Lambs when Buffalo Bill is dancing around in his woman suit and doing the mangina in the mirror while one of his captives is screaming from a pit in his basement?
That's kind of what it's like in my house when I throw on "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" and imagine myself on the Asbury Park boardwalk waiting for "Scooter and the big man to bust the city in half" and take me out of my personal nightmare of failure and self-contempt. Steve Haruch told me to lay off my Springsteen hard-on for this one but you know what, Bruce is the only boss I listen to.
So now that you know more about me than you could ever possibly care to, it should come as no surprise that I saw six Springsteen shows this year in five different arenas, including the Sommet Center. So how did our metropolitain cylindrical eyesore compare to those in St. Louis, Anahiem, Atlanta, or Washington D.C.? Not well. It was the worst-sounding show of any I saw.
The Sommet Center also has an awful blue and yello color scheme, and yes I know those are the Preds colors--still awful. Aside from that I really don't know what aesthetically differentiates the Sommet Center from the Honda Center, Verizon Center, Staples Center, Scottrade Center or Phillips Arena. Among the other nominees for this Pollstar award is New York's Madison Square Garden--a building that actually has some character. So I ask you, does the Sommet Center out-arena the Garden?
Now in Springsteen news, his new album Working on a Dream is set to drop on Jan. 27, 2009. I would post a link to the new single, but since I think it's kind of weak I'm just gonna post this 1978 performance of him and the E-Streeters playing "Rosalita." It rules!