Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's (Almost) Showtime...At The Apollo

Of all of the vaunted music halls in Manhattan I've crossed off of my list after visiting, I have not yet attended a concert at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater. But tonight, a change is gonna come. Unfortunately, I'm not checking out Steve Harvey hosting Amateur Night, or witnessing James Brown or BB King making history at the venue. Instead, I will be trekking up to 125th Street to see Jenny Lewis, of Rilo Kiley fame, working through her solo catalogue and perhaps some choice covers and Rilo hits.

To give you some perspective on why I'm thrilled to head uptown tonight, The Apollo, and Harlem for that matter, were part of so many of my Saturday nights as a kid. I would watch in amusement and awe as some very (and some not so very) talented singers, rappers, dancers, comedians, beatboxers, and "special talents" took to the stage for a taste of fame on Amateur Night. As a 10 or 11 year old, the show seemed to me to be broadcast at 1 am (although it was probably much earlier) and there was a bit of a dangerous element to the show as the performers would try their best not get booed off of the stage by the raucous audience on seemingly live television. This was way before reality TV and the only place you could see true heartbreak on the air.

Also, I was mesmerized by the ageless and beautiful co-host KiKi Sheperd and always chuckled when "The Sandman" would bring out the cane to corral the losers off of the stage. And of course there was the lucky stump that every act rubbed for luck before they went in front of the curtain.

It's going to be surreal seeing the neon lights in person at night tonight and then filing into the velvet-seated theater where so many famous (and not so famous) acts have performed. I'll post more about my experience at the show later on...

Extra: According to it's Wikipedia entry, the Apollo became famous for assisting in launching the careers of artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, and Sarah Vaughan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful venue. you can feel the history in there. I found it to be alot smaller than it looks on tv. but aint that always the case.