New York City’s Central Park was a busy place this past Friday night as Ween was set to perform at SummerStage while the Madonna-directed WE was being filmed right outside the venue. As you can imagine, a concert creates lots of noise which would be disruptive to filming. The film’s producers worked with the concert’s production team in an effort to keep the noise down in the afternoon hours, but when Ween needed to soundcheck even Madonna herself couldn’t keep the band from preparing for their show.
[via Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman’s Facebook]
We spoke with SummerStage production manager Danny Owen about the chain of events that led to Madge’s appearance at Ween’s soundcheck and it started in the early afternoon hours when the film and concert production teams realized the area had been double booked. WE’s production team approached venue staff when they started to test the PA and the SummerStage staffers agreed to keep the noise to a minimum until Ween soundchecked at 5PM. 5PM rolled around and the film’s producers asked for more time, but with doors set to open at 6:30, there wasn’t much wiggle room since the band needed to get comfortable with the sound at the outdoor venue.
Owen, whose main concern was making sure the band was given the time they needed, told the film’s producer that the band was indeed going to start soundchecking. At this point, the members of Ween were on stage and waiting around for word to start the check. Madonna must’ve gotten wind of the situation as at approximately 5:15PM she entered the concert field with her security entourage and asked Owen if she could speak to the band. Danny responded, “with all due respect, no you may not” leading Madonna to ask to speak to a manager at which point Ween’s manager, Greg Frey, entered the fray.
READ ON for more on Madonna and Ween as well as the setlist, audio and video from last Friday night’s Ween show at Central Park…
While technically the calendar would have us believe that we had just entered into the fall months, heading to Central Park a few Fridays back to catch Phoenix at SummerStage would have had you believing otherwise, as the sold-out crowd was ready to bask in one of the last outdoor concerts of the season at the city’s most serene and picturesque venues.
For the Parisian band, 2009 has shaped up to be their breakout year which kicked off with a rare three-song performance on Saturday Night Live before their latest and critically acclaimed album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix had even hit stores. Throw in a much buzzed about late-night set at Bonnaroo and sold out shows around the country, and they’ve made certain that they were no longer being referred to just as “that French band not called Air”.
[All Photos by Jeremy Gordon]
You could feel a genuine pulse in the energy of the crowd as the stage lights dimmed and Phoenix hit the stage igniting a huge roar of approval when the band jumped right into the bouncy opening piano chords of their seemingly ubiquitous single Lisztomania – causing people to do something you generally don’t see outside a jamband concert – dance.
READ ON for more of Jeff’s thoughts and Jeremy’s photos on Phoenix…