Category: Madison Square Garden


November 17th, 2009 — 10:30pm

Friday night, I went out with E, a charming, cute 37-year-old public relations exec that I met at HurryDate a few weeks ago.

Our evening began at Tracks Bar & Grill in Penn Station, home to a 105-foot long mahogany bar and a tasty seafood menu.

Tracks Bar and Grill: The venerable eatery has been around for more than 50 years

Over shared appetizers (the lobster ravioli was divine), E and I talked about our mutual experiences of moving from journalism to PR, and some of the far-flung destinations that working in PR has taken us to. Just back from a three-day business trip to Korea, E impressed me with his lack of jetlag – and his razor-sharp wit.

From Tracks, we walked over to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks square off against California’s Golden State Warriors. It was my first-ever basketball game, so I soaked up all of the on-court action, which included team dancers, trampoline acrobatics and two random celeb sightings –Actor Anthony Michael Hall and rapper Fat Joe.

What A View: Our initial seats offered a panoramic view of the on-court action

E gave me a crash course in Basketball 101, leaning in closely as he explained game rules and his knack for upgrading to closer seats after half time. Sure enough, we eventually made our way from one of the upper-level rows down to the 200 section.

After the game, I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom. Upon emerging, E suddenly pulled me toward him for a brief kiss. Completely caught off guard and happily dazed by the major sparks between us, I quipped–

“Who knew Penn Station could be so romantic?”

The romance continued as we exited Penn to find that it was raining. While huddled under an umbrella at a nearby garage waiting for E’s car, he kissed me again.

We drove up the West Side Highway then over to the UES, where we parked ourselves at Merchant’s.

Much to my delight, E sat beside me while we talked about the enduring merits of 80’s sitcoms and the fun of karaoke.

“I guess,” he said, interlacing his fingers through mine for added emphasis, “This turned out pretty well, huh?”

“I was just thinking the same thing,” I said with a smile and we fell into another kiss – interrupted this time by our amused waitress, who asked if she should come back later.

Two more hours passed before we decided to call it a night. E parked in front of my building and kissed me goodnight. Several times.

“Thank you for a perfect evening from start to finish,” I said as I exited his car.

What a night.

Up next…dinner with a new online dating expert and a review of one of Broadway’s hottest shows.

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November 17th, 2009 — 5:30pm

Friday night, I went out with E, a charming, cute 37-year-old public relations exec that I met at HurryDate a few weeks ago.

Our evening began at Tracks Bar & Grill in Penn Station, home to a 105-foot long mahogany bar and a tasty seafood menu.

Tracks Bar and Grill: The venerable eatery has been around for more than 50 years

Over shared appetizers (the lobster ravioli was divine), E and I talked about our mutual experiences of moving from journalism to PR, and some of the far-flung destinations that working in PR has taken us to. Just back from a three-day business trip to Korea, E impressed me with his lack of jetlag – and his razor-sharp wit.

From Tracks, we walked over to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks square off against California’s Golden State Warriors. It was my first-ever basketball game, so I soaked up all of the on-court action, which included team dancers, trampoline acrobatics and two random celeb sightings –Actor Anthony Michael Hall and rapper Fat Joe.

What A View: Our initial seats offered a panoramic view of the on-court action

E gave me a crash course in Basketball 101, leaning in closely as he explained game rules and his knack for upgrading to closer seats after half time. Sure enough, we eventually made our way from one of the upper-level rows down to the 200 section.

After the game, I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom. Upon emerging, E suddenly pulled me toward him for a brief kiss. Completely caught off guard and happily dazed by the major sparks between us, I quipped–

“Who knew Penn Station could be so romantic?”

The romance continued as we exited Penn to find that it was raining. While huddled under an umbrella at a nearby garage waiting for E’s car, he kissed me again.

We drove up the West Side Highway then over to the UES, where we parked ourselves at Merchant’s.

Much to my delight, E sat beside me while we talked about the enduring merits of 80’s sitcoms and the fun of karaoke.

“I guess,” he said, interlacing his fingers through mine for added emphasis, “This turned out pretty well, huh?”

“I was just thinking the same thing,” I said with a smile and we fell into another kiss – interrupted this time by our amused waitress, who asked if she should come back later.

Two more hours passed before we decided to call it a night. E parked in front of my building and kissed me goodnight. Several times.

“Thank you for a perfect evening from start to finish,” I said as I exited his car.

What a night.

Up next…dinner with a new online dating expert and a review of one of Broadway’s hottest shows.

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April 17th, 2009 — 9:00pm

Last Friday, I saw Jennifer Hudson and Robin Thicke in a double concert at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The two-hour show was a testimony to music’s healing power — and to Hudson and Thicke’s status as two of R&B’s top singers.

Thicke kicked off the evening with his energetic single “Magic,” singing many other tunes (“Sidestep,” “Dreamworld) from his sophomore effort, “Something Else.” With his silky smooth falsetto voice, Thicke had the audience eating out of his hand as he performed his unique brand of soul infused with elements of hip-hop and blues.

What A Showman: Thicke tickling the ivories during his set at MSG

On songs like “Loverman” and “You’re My Baby,” he invited all the lovebirds in the crowd to get romantic. One guy really took this advice to heart, proposing to his girlfriend when the spotlight shined on them.

Other highlights included a cover of “Let’s Stay Together” and Thicke’s first number one hit, “Lost Without You.”

After a brief intermission, the lights went down and everyone stood up, applauding thunderously as the sound of Hudson singing “One Night Only” filled the theater. When the curtain finally came up, a stunning all-black clad Hudson had everyone in the crowd cheering.

Jennifer Hudson: Her big, beautiful voice drew multiple standing ovations

I think everyone was in equal awe of her powerhouse voice and her strength in the face of personal tragedy, a tragedy she alluded to only once–

“Are there any New York fighters here?” Hudson asked the crowd. “I don’t know about you, but I’m going down fighting.”

She brought the house down with “You Pulled Me Through,” dedicating the showstopping ballad to her fans. Also from her self-titled debut, Hudson sang “Spotlight” and “If This Isn’t Love.”

Hudson paid tribute to “the divas who came before,” performing covers of En Vogue’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and the Whitney Houston classic, “You Give Good Love.”

For her encore, Hudson belted out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” Resonating even more than it did her Oscar-winning turn as Effie, the song reiterated the night’s theme — Hudson is here to stay.

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April 17th, 2009 — 4:00pm

Last Friday, I saw Jennifer Hudson and Robin Thicke in a double concert at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The two-hour show was a testimony to music’s healing power — and to Hudson and Thicke’s status as two of R&B’s top singers.

Thicke kicked off the evening with his energetic single “Magic,” singing many other tunes (“Sidestep,” “Dreamworld) from his sophomore effort, “Something Else.” With his silky smooth falsetto voice, Thicke had the audience eating out of his hand as he performed his unique brand of soul infused with elements of hip-hop and blues.

What A Showman: Thicke tickling the ivories during his set at MSG

On songs like “Loverman” and “You’re My Baby,” he invited all the lovebirds in the crowd to get romantic. One guy really took this advice to heart, proposing to his girlfriend when the spotlight shined on them.

Other highlights included a cover of “Let’s Stay Together” and Thicke’s first number one hit, “Lost Without You.”

After a brief intermission, the lights went down and everyone stood up, applauding thunderously as the sound of Hudson singing “One Night Only” filled the theater. When the curtain finally came up, a stunning all-black clad Hudson had everyone in the crowd cheering.

Jennifer Hudson: Her big, beautiful voice drew multiple standing ovations

I think everyone was in equal awe of her powerhouse voice and her strength in the face of personal tragedy, a tragedy she alluded to only once–

“Are there any New York fighters here?” Hudson asked the crowd. “I don’t know about you, but I’m going down fighting.”

She brought the house down with “You Pulled Me Through,” dedicating the showstopping ballad to her fans. Also from her self-titled debut, Hudson sang “Spotlight” and “If This Isn’t Love.”

Hudson paid tribute to “the divas who came before,” performing covers of En Vogue’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and the Whitney Houston classic, “You Give Good Love.”

For her encore, Hudson belted out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” Resonating even more than it did her Oscar-winning turn as Effie, the song reiterated the night’s theme — Hudson is here to stay.

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December 4th, 2008 — 3:00am
Tina’s back – and she’s still simply the best.

Monday night, I had the great pleasure of seeing Tina Turner at Madison Square Garden. Eight years have passed since I last saw Tina perform, but the legendary singer –who just turned 69 a few days ago – proved once again that she still knows how to bring the house down.

Still Rockin’ At 69: Tina Turner kicks up her heels at MSG

In an energetic two-hour show packed with dazzling choreography and special effects that included pyrotechnics, risers and ninja characters, Tina took all of us in the audience on a nostalgic journey spanning her five decades in show business.

After opening with vintage hits like “Steamy Windows” and “River Deep, Mountain High,” Tina delighted with a string of more recent classics, including “Better Be Good To Me,” “Private Dancer” and one of my all time favorites, “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Tina called on everyone to sing along, playfully pitting the women in the audience against the men. When the guys failed to deliver, she said playfully–

“We’ll give you another chance — like we always do.”

For her movie power ballads “Goldeneye” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero,“ Tina pulled out all the stops, with film clips and theatrical staging.

Aunty Entity Returns: Tina revisits her role from 1985’s “Mad Mad Beyond Thunderdome”

A montage of photos and videos of Tina through the years, the perfect segue way to a heartfelt, bluesy rendition of The Beatles’ “Help!” and then two of her most exhilarating signature hits — “The Best” and “Proud Mary.”

She’s Got Legs: Tina struts her stuff as she sings “Proud Mary”

During her encore, just as she did during her 2000 tour, Tina soared over the first 20 rows on a cherry picker while she sang “Nutbush City Limits.”

What A View: Tina soars over the crowd during her encore

She drew thunderous applause when she urged two special audience members — Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes — to sing along.

As Tina took her final bow, the large screen behind her rolled a list of producing credits for her fiftieth anniversary tour. I marveled once again at the fact that this dynamic diva is approaching 70. If a fountain of youth exists, there’s no question – the ageless Miss Turner has most definitely found it.

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December 3rd, 2008 — 10:00pm
Tina’s back – and she’s still simply the best.

Monday night, I had the great pleasure of seeing Tina Turner at Madison Square Garden. Eight years have passed since I last saw Tina perform, but the legendary singer –who just turned 69 a few days ago – proved once again that she still knows how to bring the house down.

Still Rockin’ At 69: Tina Turner kicks up her heels at MSG

In an energetic two-hour show packed with dazzling choreography and special effects that included pyrotechnics, risers and ninja characters, Tina took all of us in the audience on a nostalgic journey spanning her five decades in show business.

After opening with vintage hits like “Steamy Windows” and “River Deep, Mountain High,” Tina delighted with a string of more recent classics, including “Better Be Good To Me,” “Private Dancer” and one of my all time favorites, “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Tina called on everyone to sing along, playfully pitting the women in the audience against the men. When the guys failed to deliver, she said playfully–

“We’ll give you another chance — like we always do.”

For her movie power ballads “Goldeneye” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero,“ Tina pulled out all the stops, with film clips and theatrical staging.

Aunty Entity Returns: Tina revisits her role from 1985’s “Mad Mad Beyond Thunderdome”

A montage of photos and videos of Tina through the years, the perfect segue way to a heartfelt, bluesy rendition of The Beatles’ “Help!” and then two of her most exhilarating signature hits — “The Best” and “Proud Mary.”

She’s Got Legs: Tina struts her stuff as she sings “Proud Mary”

During her encore, just as she did during her 2000 tour, Tina soared over the first 20 rows on a cherry picker while she sang “Nutbush City Limits.”

What A View: Tina soars over the crowd during her encore

She drew thunderous applause when she urged two special audience members — Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes — to sing along.

As Tina took her final bow, the large screen behind her rolled a list of producing credits for her fiftieth anniversary tour. I marveled once again at the fact that this dynamic diva is approaching 70. If a fountain of youth exists, there’s no question – the ageless Miss Turner has most definitely found it.

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September 18th, 2008 — 8:32pm

The other night, I attended Celine Dion’s concert at Madison Square Garden – her first Big Apple performance in a decade.

Early on in the show, Celine expressed her delight about returning to MSG after such a long absence – and her gratitude about having her 81-year-old mother with her on tour. Celine’s observation resonated deeply with me, having attended her 1998 MSG show just a few days before losing my own mom. I felt comforted knowing that, like Celine, I still feel that my mother is very much a part of me.

With a handful of backup dancers and talented musicians, Celine made good use of the stage’s in-the-round setup. During her two-hour set, Celine hit many of the high notes of her ballad-heavy repertoire, belting out such hits as “Because You Loved Me,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and the title track of her current album, “Taking Chances.” “The Prayer,” a duet with Andrea Bocelli, worked surprisingly well even though Bocelli appeared via pre-recorded video.

Celine belting it out at MSG.

Less effective was Celine’s mid-show take on a couple of Queen songs and 1960’s tunes. Given her robust catalog of hits, the covers seemed out of place. She fared better performing her own upbeat material, including a rousing rendition of “Love Can Move Mountains” that had most of us in the crowd on our feet.

Like she did ten years ago, Celine ended with her most successful hit. Following a few clips from “Titanic,” she emerged from the bottom of the stage in a billowing black gown to perform the movie’s signature song, “My Heart Will Go On.” Whether or not you’re a fan of schmaltz—and I most assuredly am—there’s no denying the ballad is a showstopper.

Though the concert fell flat at a few points, Celine still has the pipes and stage presence to deliver a great performance.

Coming up…the scoop on the “Sex and the City” DVD launch party and more outrageous first date tales.

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September 18th, 2008 — 3:32pm

The other night, I attended Celine Dion’s concert at Madison Square Garden – her first Big Apple performance in a decade.

Early on in the show, Celine expressed her delight about returning to MSG after such a long absence – and her gratitude about having her 81-year-old mother with her on tour. Celine’s observation resonated deeply with me, having attended her 1998 MSG show just a few days before losing my own mom. I felt comforted knowing that, like Celine, I still feel that my mother is very much a part of me.

With a handful of backup dancers and talented musicians, Celine made good use of the stage’s in-the-round setup. During her two-hour set, Celine hit many of the high notes of her ballad-heavy repertoire, belting out such hits as “Because You Loved Me,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and the title track of her current album, “Taking Chances.” “The Prayer,” a duet with Andrea Bocelli, worked surprisingly well even though Bocelli appeared via pre-recorded video.

Celine belting it out at MSG.

Less effective was Celine’s mid-show take on a couple of Queen songs and 1960’s tunes. Given her robust catalog of hits, the covers seemed out of place. She fared better performing her own upbeat material, including a rousing rendition of “Love Can Move Mountains” that had most of us in the crowd on our feet.

Like she did ten years ago, Celine ended with her most successful hit. Following a few clips from “Titanic,” she emerged from the bottom of the stage in a billowing black gown to perform the movie’s signature song, “My Heart Will Go On.” Whether or not you’re a fan of schmaltz—and I most assuredly am—there’s no denying the ballad is a showstopper.

Though the concert fell flat at a few points, Celine still has the pipes and stage presence to deliver a great performance.

Coming up…the scoop on the “Sex and the City” DVD launch party and more outrageous first date tales.

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September 11th, 2008 — 9:48pm

The only thing better than a good concert is a good concert for a great cause. Last night, I had the pleasure of experiencing the latter at the Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up For Cure show benefitting lung cancer research.

The night began with an engaging 45-minute set by Indie pop singer Ingrid Michaelson, including her hit “The Way I Am” and new single “Be Ok.” Next, Julia Roberts briefly took the stage at Madison Square Garden, looking sassy in jeans, an Obama t-shirt and her signature cascade of auburn curls.

“I cannot tell you how excited I am to be in the greatest city in the world,” she said, “to introduce one of the greatest bands of the world!”

Stand Up For A Cure Concert: DMB Rocks MSG
And with that, Dave and co. blazed through an electrifying 2.5 hour set. Along with hits like “Don’t Drink The Water,” “Number 41” and “Crash,” DMB dazzled with lengthy instrumental riffs that demonstrated why they’re one of the best and most enduring modern rock bands on the scene today.

Noticeably absent from the performance – sax player and founding DMB member LeRoi Moore, who died in August at age 46. Dave movingly told the crowd this was the band’s first MSG show without Moore and how much he is missed. Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin did a great job filling in.

The evening’s other poignant moment came when Dave revealed he was just 10 years old when he lost his father to lung cancer.

“One day, we hopefully won’t need to have events like this,” he said.

DMB ended the night with a rousing, extended version of their signature hit, “Ants Marching,” that had me on my feet and smiling from ear to ear. This was my third DMB concert, and I’m looking forward to many more.

Visit DMB online at . For more information about Stand Up For A Cure, log on to .

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September 11th, 2008 — 4:48pm

The only thing better than a good concert is a good concert for a great cause. Last night, I had the pleasure of experiencing the latter at the Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up For Cure show benefitting lung cancer research.

The night began with an engaging 45-minute set by Indie pop singer Ingrid Michaelson, including her hit “The Way I Am” and new single “Be Ok.” Next, Julia Roberts briefly took the stage at Madison Square Garden, looking sassy in jeans, an Obama t-shirt and her signature cascade of auburn curls.

“I cannot tell you how excited I am to be in the greatest city in the world,” she said, “to introduce one of the greatest bands of the world!”

Stand Up For A Cure Concert: DMB Rocks MSG
And with that, Dave and co. blazed through an electrifying 2.5 hour set. Along with hits like “Don’t Drink The Water,” “Number 41” and “Crash,” DMB dazzled with lengthy instrumental riffs that demonstrated why they’re one of the best and most enduring modern rock bands on the scene today.

Noticeably absent from the performance – sax player and founding DMB member LeRoi Moore, who died in August at age 46. Dave movingly told the crowd this was the band’s first MSG show without Moore and how much he is missed. Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin did a great job filling in.

The evening’s other poignant moment came when Dave revealed he was just 10 years old when he lost his father to lung cancer.

“One day, we hopefully won’t need to have events like this,” he said.

DMB ended the night with a rousing, extended version of their signature hit, “Ants Marching,” that had me on my feet and smiling from ear to ear. This was my third DMB concert, and I’m looking forward to many more.

Visit DMB online at . For more information about Stand Up For A Cure, log on to .

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