But it's not just musicals that are rocking the town; music of every kind seems to have suddenly assumed the mantle that art had in the Eighties, everyone wants a piece of it, everyone's a fan, and tickets are harder to come by than perfect pitch.
When opera diva Cecilia Barton sang her debut at the Met in the spring, her audience had possessed its tickets for almost two years. When Rosemary Clooney croons at the Rainbow & Stars, every show is SRO, and when tickets for KISS at Madison Square Garden went on sale in the summer, all four shows sold out in two hours. .Once, all it took to be a music fan in New York was the wit to walk over to CBGB'S, or cab up to Lincoln Center. Now, fans who want an audience with their heroes have to be quick-dial jockeys, poised to pounce on the phone the minute the green ticket flag comes down. It's enough to put a slacker in a sweat.
It is altogether possible that the euphoria of The Sound of Music crowd had much to do with the shock of getting a seat in this sold-out summer. In general, now that big groups can't sate audience demand, smaller bands are lapping up the attention. Alanis Morissette, Hootie & The Blowfish, and The Smashing Pumpkins may be sold out, but the smoky Mercury Lounge will let you in to hear Babe the Blue Ox, or Stinking Lizaveta; the Bitter End will admit you to hear Yuri Naumov's Russian blues or Mike Errico's Friends-y ballads; Fez will grant you booth space to hear Julian Fleisher's Big Band and Dave's True Story. At Sidewalk Cafe, CNN shows up to meet a novelty group called Bicycle, a kind of Chiltonesque Big Star redux, who have just returned from a concert tour which they did - by bike. It is the hour of amateur musicians in New York, and if that is only because fans have a fighting chance of hearing them, you won't hear the musicians objecting.Reuse content