Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hammerstein Ballroom

I know that the guys are due to play Detroit on Friday so I will try and withhold any spoilers from this review. I got to Hammerstein slightly after 6pm and walked about a half a block to take a place in line. Actually the amount of people wasn't that bad at that point but quickly doubled and tripled in a matter of minutes. The security staff did an excellent job at keeping things organized and moving. The show was sold out and there was a number of people looking to buy tickets and not so many selling. Nearing the door the guy in front of my friend and me apparently bought a fake ticket and was basically told by the guard to leave and have a good night. So be careful on Friday if you are looking to gamble on a ticket at the venue.
Hammerstein is basically an old style theatre with a three story open interior with a beautifully painted mural on the ceiling. There are two huge balconies with seating and an open floor. We stood about fifteen feet from the stage on the left hand side. The crowd around us was mostly thirty somethings, but there were business men, some old timers, and one guy whistling 'pocket calculator' for about forty five minutes(very funny actually) Everyone was well behaved even as the space filled up.
At this point the stage was screened with white fabric and there were three video projectors slightly in front.
Precisely at 8pm The sound system came to life and a red light created silhouettes of the guys on the white fabric. The screen raised and the video kicked on. The guys were behind individual pedestal stations with a laptop on each and some other bits of gear. The three projectors created a huge image in back of them and was in-sync to the music. The sound was absolutely crystal clear....probably one of the best shows I've heard in terms of quality of delivery. The system is four corner and they added supplementary speakers to cover the balconies. The volume level was just right and there was zero distortion....even being pretty close. Forget the earplugs at this one.
I'll withhold a playlist but I will say that personally the Tour de France(s) were the best for me. The visuals are really stunning....If you're there you'll see. There are a few, well 'surprises' towards the end of the show. Expect about two hours worth of music, and believe me a lot of ground is covered. You basically have to keep reminding yourself just how long these guys have been around. But they really deliver a great show.
I'm sure the Detroit show will be really unbelievable so if you have tickets, you are in for a treat.

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