Results tagged ‘ Billy Joel ’
In fact, what was there not to say about the two performances of the Dave Matthews Band this past weekend at Wrigley Field?
The latest in the string of top-shelf musical talent to grace the “Friendly Confines,” DMB did not disappoint. Friday’s performance offered picture-perfect weather, but rain threatened the Saturday concert all day.
In the end the clouds backed off, but DMB did not. They surged through all of their biggest hits including “Stay” and “Trippin’ Billies” in front of two massive jumbotrons and another
directly above the stage comprised of five smaller screens. It offered a clear view of everything from Dave himself, to the bass player wearing a Cubs knit hat, to the horns and backup singers.
It also was a decidedly more energetic crowd. I’ve had the good pleasure of covering all of the concerts–Jimmy Buffett in 2005, The Police in 2007 and Elton John and Billy Joel in 2009 (I missed Rascal Flatts)–and the crowd was simply more jumpy.
People were dancing in the rows, aisles, even with Wrigley Field ushers!
No matter who plays at Wrigley Field, it is always still a strange sight to see a massive stage right in the middle of centerfield.
The scoreboard was dwarfed by the stage’s scaffolding. But DMB’s stage was not as complicated as the one The Police had–featuring a laser show–or EJ/BJ, which had ascending, descending/rotating pianos. Rascal Flatts had a catwalk that extended out into the general admission crowd on the field.
Others who didn’t have tickets sat in lawn chairs on Waveland Avenue and listened to the concert. It was an older crowd out there, in what many were calling “Wrigleyvinia” an obvious play on the lawn seat, garden-like atmosphere of Ravinia.
Photos by Kelsey Peters
Fukudome isn’t the biggest thing in centerfield these days.
After the Cubs doubleheader against St. Louis on Sunday, crews from Live Nation moved in and started erecting a massive stage in centerfield for the Elton John/Billy Joel concert tomorrow night. Country group Rascal Flatts will grace the stage on Saturday (July 18), and then John and Joel will return for a second show Tuesday night (July 21).
“It’s a unique opportunity — to enjoy music and be on the playing field,” said Carl Rice, Wrigley Field’s senior director of facility management.
With the stage in centerfield, the field can hold 8,000 seats and then thousands more in the stands. Seats at football stadiums can be as far as 800 feet away from the stage, but at Wrigley Field, the furthest seats are around 450 feet away, said Rice.
“It’s a fun and unique way for people to see Wrigley Field without seeing a ballgame,” said Rice. “And world-class acts want this to be a stop, and in most cases, it’s a highlight of their tour.”
Live Nation handles most of the direct set up, including building the stages and setting up the in-field seating. Crews work about 18 hours a day, right up until the Rocketman and the Pianoman take the stage.
Tickets are sold out for the Billy Joel\Elton John performance Thursday, but seats are still available for the duo’s second show and the Rascal Flatts concert. Go to www.tickets.com or call 1-800-THE-CUBS. Tickets will not be sold through the Wrigley Field Box Office.
— Kelsey Peters