How Did Hurricane Sandy Impact Live Music And The Fan Experience?


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy I started to wonder what the impact would be on the live music industry and the fan experience. Who would be hit the hardest? The fans? Bands? Venue owners?

As I thought about how live music has helped fans and band process grief and loss, I also started to wonder How would live music be used to help people recover physically and emotionally?

What live music experiences would bands and fans have as they navigate the emotional aftermath of Sandy?

Would live music play the role it did in the wake of 9/11, or other tragic events?

Of course, the answers to those questions will take time to answer, and as I looked for answers to those questions I wanted to share a few stories that have begun to shed light on those issues.

Stories About Sandy Impact, Benefit Concert History

First up is this Billboard story that explains a few insurance scenarios:

Most venues don’t carry insurance for loss of revenue due to a weather cancelation, Bassman says, though policies differ widely. “Some venues may carry ‘loss of utilities’ coverage, however there are so many different kinds of insurance coverage, it just depends on what they carry,” he says.

Force majeure, or “act of God,” clauses in contracts cover stakeholders on both sides of the talent buyer-entertainer equation. “Depending on how it’s worded, something like this would typically invoke the force majeure clause, and the [promoter] would not have to pay the guarantee to the artist,” says Bassman. “But [the promoter] would still be out all kinds of money for marketing and promotion, not to mention lose out on the profit potential for that show.”

Big companies like Live Nation, AEG Live, and Bowery Presents — the three most active in the New York metropolitan area — are well-insulated from serious weather events, Bassman says. “It’s the one-time promoter that’s going to get crushed.”

Next is this Huffington Post story about the unfortunate scalping situation that has occured leading up to the upcoming 12-12-12 Madison Square Garden Sandy Benefit concert this week.

“Every dollar spent for these concert tickets should go to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy – not to line the pocket of unscrupulous scalpers,” Senator Schumer said in an statement. “Ticket resale websites have the opportunity to make it much more difficult for scalpers to make money of this charitable event, and they should seize it.”

Currently, tickets are listed on StubHub for as much as $27,175. With the highest face-value price of a ticket reaching $2,500, scalpers are in a position to make an enormous profit. While StubHub is donating its service fees and commissions to the Robin Hood Foundation, it isn’t regulating the reselling of tickets. NYT reports that StubHub’s spokesman, Glenn Lehrman, said about the company’s decision, “This is going to take place regardless of whether we enable it or somebody else does, and at least by us enabling it, we can give a good portion to charity.”

Ticketmaster’s resale sites, however, are not allowing tickets for 12-12-12 to be sold.

“We proactively blocked all posts for 12-12-12 as is our policy for charitable events,” a representative for TicketsNow and TicketExchange said in an email.

Then I came across this article that puts the questionable history of benefit concert in perspective and explains how the industry has learned from the past and hopes to make the 12-12-12 concert all about helping tell the story of those who are still in need:

In addition to raising money, organizers hope the concert will educate the country about the full extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. “People don’t realize there’s a very long tail of impact from this hurricane,” says Sykes. “There was the initial damage, but now you have homeless people in New York that are headed into a winter with below-freezing temperatures. These people have nowhere to go. You have homes lost, families torn apart, and these people have nowhere to go.”

The big benefit concerts of the 1970s were notorious for wasteful spending, but that won’t be the case this time around, organizers insist. “The concert business has learned from the mistakes of the past,” says Sykes. “When you have a group like the Robin Hood [Foundation] in New York City, where the entire overhead of the organization is paid for by the board members, that means 100 percent of the funds raised on that concert will go to the people that need it.”


12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert

To wrap up the post, here’s info about the 12-12-12 Benefit concert taking place this Wendesday at 7:30pmEST including below a list of places online and TV where you can watch from the comfort of your home.

From Kanye West to Bruce Springsteen, there’s going to be a lot of stars performing and to get you ready for the show, here’s a list of previous Live Fix explorations that’ll take you deeper into how their live shows have moved us and other concert fans have used live music and the concert community to cope with loss and recover.

Share Your Sandy Stories

As always our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by Sandy. We want to continue to explore this and we’d love to hear about your stories too. Tell us how Sandy has impacted your live music experiences and we’ll share them on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.


Clear Channel Media and Entertainment
Clear Channel Outdoor
My Space
SiriusXM Radio


Cooking Channel
Destination America
Discovery Fit & Health
FX Movie Channel

Hallmark Movie Channel
HBO Latino
ION Television
Lifetime Real Women
Live Well Network
Military History
MSG Plus

Smithsonian Channel
Sundance Channel
VH1 Classic
WPSG/The CW Philly
Wealth TV


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Bruce Springsteen And His “Sunny Day” Sing-a-long Tour With Tweens



Our Bruce Springsteen exploration continues as we take you through a series of concert videos showing how The Boss is connecting with a new generation of fans one tween at a time.

I first heard about Springsteen bringing a tween on stage to sing “Waiting on Sunny Day” during his show at Wrigely Field in September. Then I took a stroll through the interwebs and discovered Chicago wasn’t the only city that Springsteen was pulling young fans from the front row to help lead the crowd in a moving Sunny Day sing-a-long.

Here’s a collection of videos from around the world this year and some of the back stories that surfaced after concerts in Chicago and Toronto.

First up is the 10-year-old fan Brianna who joined Bruce on stage at Wrigley Field in Chicago (video above). shared the story and then shortly after Brianna’s mom Mary posted a comment.  I wonder what it was like for both Brianna and Mary to experience such a moment. Maybe it was similiar to Rich’s story or these mom’s stories?

Halle in Toronto

Next up is Halle from the Toronto show. Now this story was interesting because of all the kids in these videos Halle’s performance sounded the most polished and surprisingly beyond her years. And it wasn’t a fluke because, as Kat Langdon, explains on her blog, Halle has already begun to develop her live performance chops.

Let’s back up a bit. Halle has been a vocal student of mine for just under a year. She’s a smart, modest 10-year old girl with a strong voice and a kind heart. We met during the production of Joseph in November, she was a member of the youth ensemble.


Neveah in LA

Then in LA it was Neveah and her grandparents who had this to say in the comments on the YouTube video.

Our darling little grandaughter Nevaeh at her first Bruce concert. After the song Bruce came back over and asked how old she was and after hearing she was 4 he stated “youngest member of the E Street Band ever.”



From Philly to Paris and Beyond

Here are the rest of the vidoes from the other cities.  If your the parent of any of these kids, we invite you to tells us more about your story and drop a comment below and we’ll share it on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

The other reason I am excited to share these videos is because it’s got me thinking about a few other things.

1) For the tweens that were girls, how will that moment impact the psychological and emotional development knowing how women experience live music.

2) For the moms who were there to witness the concert in person with their kids, how this moment rank in their favorite concert experiences? Will it be like the live music memories of these moms?

3) What will become of the kids? Will they turned out to be just as amazing and rockin’ as these kids performers?

4) And now that Colleen and I are proud parents of Calvin, I wonder what it will be like to take our son Calvin to his first concert.  What will unfold during his first live music experience? And how will that moment change his  and our lives forever?




New Jersey




Washington D.C. 




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You Should Never Try To Unplug The Boss Or Sir Paul

bruce springsteen dublin power switch


That’s right. You don’t turn the power off on the Boss until he’s done.

And apparently not even Sir Paul could sway authorities to keep the show going after concert organizers turned the switch off last week in England.

As the Huffington Post reports:

Concert organizers pulled the plug on rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney after the pair defied the sound curfew at London’s Hyde Park, silencing their microphones at the tail end of the show.

Springsteen had already exceeded the 10:30 p.m. curfew by half an hour Saturday night when he welcomed McCartney on stage and the pair sang the Beatles hits “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout.” But the microphones were turned off before they could thank the crowd, forcing them to leave the stage in silence.

But the Boss did have the last word when he poked fun at the concert promoters to start, and several times during, the show in Dublin as the BBC reports:

Taking to the stage in Dublin, the star flipped a switch on a huge prop power generator and said: “Before we were so rudely interrupted…”

He then launched into the last minute of Twist And Shout, the Beatles’ song cut short at his Hyde Park concert.

Springsteen also held up a sign which read “Only the Boss says when to pull the plug” while wheeling on a huge on/off switch before playing Dancing in the Dark.

Towards the end of the show, a man dressed as a London police officer came on stage and tried to arrest the musician.

You gotta love Springsteen’s sense of humor in all of this.

That said, writing this post and thinking of what other fans have experienced spiritually and emotionally during his shows reminds me that I still have to make it to a Springsteen show.

Hopefully the stars do align and I’ll get to see the Boss live and it’ll be as good as this hilarious Dublin show.


Have You Danced in The Dark?

Were you at the London or Dublin gig? Have you seen Springsteen live?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Record Store Day 2012: Rediscovering The Zen Experience

RSD 2012 rediscover records


RSD 2012 rediscover records

During this episode of Live Fix Radio, we’re celebrating Record Store Day 2012 and exploring the connection between live music and our favorite record shops. Listen in to our chat with Rich Wagner of Rediscover Records as he explains the spirituality and zen of record shops, revisits the last Replacements gig in 1991, and tell us why seeing Bruce Springsteen live in 1984 changed everything for him.

Subscribe via iTunes.

Show Notes:

Segment one: News and other cool stuff you should know about

Segment two (26:10): Interview with Rich Wagner of Rediscover Records.

Segment three (41:44): The unique connection between live music and being in a record storehistory of in-store performances, RSD 2012 releases and our favorite Chicago-area record stores.

Music played during the show
  • Mastodon – “Oblivion” Live at the Aragon – 2012
  • Levon Helm – “The Weight” Live on PBS – 2011
  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band “Hungry Heart (Live)” – 1984
  • The Replacements – “Within Your Reach (Live)” – 1991


RSD 2012 Info:

Our other favorite record shops and RSD live performances

Our Top Live Album Picks:

Buddy Guy
This Is Buddy Guy

Iggy and the Stooges
Live at All Tomorrows Parties

Shabazz Palaces
Live at KEXP

Tegan and Sara
Get Along

The Civil Wars
Live at Amoeba

The Knack
Live In Los Angeles, 1978

Widespread Panic
Live Wood


What Records Are You Rocking On RSD?

What are your most memorable record store live concert experiences? How are your favorite live shows and record shops connected?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts about this podcast in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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The Best Performers Know How To Lead: Interview with Terry Starbucker


terry starbucker

Whether we realize it or not, each concert we go to teaches us something new about who we were, who we are and who can become. But can going to concerts really teach you how to be a leader? Is there something we can learn about leadership by watching Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, The Who or The Rolling Stone’s perform live in concert?
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Super Bowling: Guacamole Dip and Backing Tracks


It’s taken me a few days to completely digest the Super Bowl Half Time Show…for a few reasons.

First, I didn’t expect The Boss to tell me to put down the guacamole dip and for him to lay on the cheese so heavy during his extended 12 minute set. I also didn’t expect to see him sliding across the stage and knocking into camera men, like he was auditioning for Flashdance or So You Think You Can Dance, or something.

It was, though, a highly effective (and corny) experiment of how an artist can bring the home audience right into the performance. Something Tom Petty and Prince didn’t do during their Super Bowl performances.

Secondly, as I watched the first half (and immediately after Springsteen’s performance), I was really in awe of how deftly and swiftly Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune wrote a review of Jennifer Hudson’s Star Spangled Banner performance. And I don’t think I’ve ever read such a compelling and inspiring review of the National Anthem.

But then came the lip-syncing/back tracking of Hudson’s performance. Something I’ve brought up on a previous post. And something I don’t think is a complete live music sin, mainly because backing tracks are used more often than we think, and often without us even knowing, or sometimes, even caring.

In any case, the next time I’m at a game I’ll have to pay more attention to the performance value of the National Anthem and not look at it as just a moment of honored patriotism.

Even if the Bears weren’t in it, the Big Game was still exciting to watch and thanks to Springsteen I never ran out of cheese for my nachos.

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