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Music Rocks August 29, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Music & Dance.
20 comments

During summer breaks from college, I worked at the Garden State Art Center, a lively outdoor amphitheater in Holmdel, New Jersey.  I’ve written about the venue once before, recounting the time my boss threw a Birthday Bash for me:  S~U~R~P~R~I~S~E!

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In case you’ve never been, the G.S.A.C. looks like its slightly larger and older twin sister, the Hollywood Bowl ~ the largest natural amphitheater in the US, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000.  Just Photoshop out the mountains.

Here are a few fun facts about the Garden State Arts Center:

About 17,500 people can occupy the amphitheater; there are 7,000 seats and the grass area can hold about 10,500 people.  Concerts are from May through September featuring 35–45 different events of many types of musical styles.

It is ranked among the top five most successful amphitheaters in the country.

That’s right . . . I worked at one of the top five most successful amphitheaters in the country!  Before I even had a college degree!  Go me!

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2During high school and college, we sat on the grassy lawn listening to Stephen Stills, Dave Mason, ELO, Chicago, the Moody Blues, Seals & Croft, Loggins & Messina, the Eagles, Hall & Oates, etc..

Nope, not Bowie.  He tended to stay in venues in the city.
Nope, not Bad Company either.

Years later, we sat in plush “inside” seating at the same venue (after its corporate-sell-out name change to the PNC Bank Arts Center) to see Sarah McLachlan.  We also enjoyed repeat performances by ELO, Chicago, and the Moody Blues far from the grassy knolls of our youth.

We sat on other lawns around the country to hear:

* Pure Prairie League (South Carolina)
* Steve Forbert (Delaware)
* John Eddie (New Jersey)
* The Dave Matthews Band (in Philly at the Mann Music Center)

Sometimes, during chilly winter months, we moved indoors, attending concerts by Bruce Hornsby, the Dixie Chicks, 10,000 Maniacs, and the Indigo Girls in small intimate settings (like Wait Chapel at Wake Forest in North Carolina).

Wikipedia ~ Wait Chapel (in Public Domain)

In larger arenas, younger versions of our current music-loving selves listened with youthful enthusiasm to Boston, Bob Seger, Little Feat, Neil Young, Little River Band, Firefall, the Grateful Dead, Starcastle, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Stevie Nicks, Alabama, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Jefferson Starship, Jackson Browne, Orleans, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Steely Dan, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot, Journey, and Santana.

A few years ago, a much older version of me accompanied two nieces to see Natasha Bedingfield perform at Universal Studios.

Yay!  I can still clap hands with the best of them.  I hope when I’m really old and gray (like Jagger), I’ll still say:  Music rocks! :D

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you enjoy attending outdoor concerts?  Have you ever been to the G.S.A.C. or the Hollywood Bowl?  How about the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado?

The earliest notable rock-and-roll performance at Red Rocks was by The Beatles on August 26, 1964, the only concert NOT sold out during their US-tour. 

What are your favorite music memories?