The Return of Day On the Greens, Original Santana and the Revitalization of Outdoor Arena Concerts

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By Nolan Apostle
Contributing Editor
Event City Premier Magazine

doglogos-w300-oThere is a recent upswing, a strong interest in recreating the large scale concert experience which was once a dominant force in our music culture during the late 70’s and through the 80’s. We are not talking about just any show or event, but those that were unique and helped to change the world of Music and Entertainment. Not only did they change how society viewed live entertainment, but in many cases they changed our lives as music fans forever. You know what I’m talking about, those concert experiences that most of us had, the ones that were just that, AN EXPERIENCE.

We are living in an age where music can be delivered to us in many different ways, more than ever we can now acquire any type of music at any time with just a click. This almost seems surreal. Do we take music for granted because of this? It is almost as if this might get in the way of that major concert experience. Could this be the catalyst for this “Live Show” revival?

This reporter has lived through the 70’s as a kid and now the 21st Century as an adult, I have been given such an array of truly wonderful experiences in the world of Music and Entertainment. I got to see the birth of Color TV and the death of 8 tracks and 45’s, including the rise and fall and rise again of vinyl records. What about those little plastic cassettes and of course let’s not discount the slick Compact Discs (CD) that are still alive today, well kind of.

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Prince at the Circle Star 1979

 

Don’t get me started on concert venues and major shows – you’ve got the Fillmore East in New York, and the concert venue in the round on a rotating stage in San Carlos California, yep, I’m talking about the Circle Star Theater, and like the Fillmore it helped to launch the careers of many major music stars in the entertainment world (see images above of both venues). What a great time to be alive and to allow music to come into our lives, and a perfect time to gather knowledge as well.

Where has all of this taken us? We now listen to music from devices that are as tiny as a nine volt battery with headphones that are barely detectable. Some of us don’t even use equipment anymore to “hold” our music, we have phones and other tiny devices that connect us to a “digital cloud” which stores our music like a virtual Fort Knox. These major storage tools have the availability to release a technical tornado at our whims with an unlimited rainstorm of data in the form of video, audio and in the very near future devices that will “always be on” and ever linked to our own bio-connectors, directly and indirectly. Imagine, thinking you want to listen to John Lennon’s Imagine or Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, and viola, there it is streaming over your headset. We’re not very far away from that. And who knows what else is next for us.

Maybe our Millennial generation is starting to realize that sitting wherever you might be and listening to music can be boring, even a bit lonely at times. What about going out and seeing a show or two, listening to some live talent with some of your favorite music and a friend or three is not that bad after all. Now there’s an idea! So how does this play a role in bringing back those large-scale live music shows? That I can’t answer exactly, but I can report on what is happening in society today, and from my vantage point, it is pretty awesome.

First, there was the announcement by Carlos Santana at the beginning of the year to SF-Fest-2016-On-The-Green-Concert-Posterput his old crew back together, the original Santana Band. The article by the Event City Magazine and the social media connections garnered well over 100,000 “Likes”, and in the first 24 hours almost 10,000 reads! This was major music news, after all, it was SANTANA! Soon after, they announced their first concert date a outdoor show at AT&T Park in San Francisco on September 4th of this year.

Then there’s the historic Day On the Green concerts created by the legendary Bill Graham from the early 70’s through the early 90’s which was the catalyst for major Rock’n’Roll Music festivals and arena shows around the country and the world. These are making a resurgence, and of course, what else to call it but “DAY ON The GREEN 2016“! Tdoglogos-w300-ohe show is presented by Got Live Entertainment and BAM Magazine and will take place on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 at the Pioneer Amphitheater in Hayward. It will feature a selection of some of the greatest tribute talent on the planet representing the likes of Journey, Santana, Foreigner and Fleetwood Mac. The promoter has some exciting plans to do more of the DOGs and possibly a tour in time. Event City is giving away tickets at our Day On the Green Contest! It’s simple, tell us your favorite Day On the Green story and you’ll be entered to win FREE Tickets to the show. Never got to attend a Day On the Green, that’s ok. Tell us about any crazy concert story and be eligible to win! Share the link with your friends at the EVENT CITY WORLDWIDE FACEBOOK GROUP.

Then we come to the beautiful California Gold Country. Last year the Butte Fire took everyone by surprise. It began in Amador County but quickly spread and decimated the Mountain Ranch area of Calaveras. Over 750 homes were destroyed and many more out buildings. An area filled with culturally creative groups and many who were raised in the area and build a life in most cases simple and mostly carefree. Many of those who lived out here were musicians, performers, artists and craftspeople making a living off of their creative endeavors. Could the tragedy of the Butte fire spawn an interest in expanding on live entertainment? Why not? Just ask Chuck Swisher of the National Hotel, “Our team wants to revitalize downtown Jackson and bring back the days when it was all about music, community and fun, but why stop there?” He adds, “Jackson has a lot to offer but so does the rest of the Gold Country, our owner wants to help the entire area grow and expand, and what better way to do that than with music.” One such project started all the back in the year of 1969.

There was this show, a little known concert that barely made it to the Rock’n’Roll history books, and it happened in the foot of the foothills in the beautiful golden state of California. The Lake Amador Gold Rush Music Festival happened on October 4th 1969 in Amador County. TAmadorGoldrushShowhose who attended the concert applauded the effort and outcome of this endeavor by a local promoter and many of them say this was one of the best live festival concerts they ever attended.
Some even boasted as this being one of the greatest in the history of live concert shows. I have personally spoken to several people that attended this show and they loved it more than one can imagine and walked away with some great memories. One of my personal friends was a young kid at the time and he said it was one of the greatest concerts of all time. He has worked and/or attended an estimated more than one thousand shows in his lifetime.

For the record, the Promoter was not Bill Graham but a gentleman by the name of Robert Strand, and he does know there is interest in bringing this back. There’s a quote, “One can only share a message in the ear of he who needs to hear it, but it doesn’t mean he will listen.” Robert is listening, but it is his process and his choice, after all, it isn’t everyday that someone comes along and produces one of the greatest music festivals of all time. Some have called this the West Coast’s Woodstock. You know, I like that, it has a nice ring to it.  We’ll keep you posted.

There are those who say, why not just produce the show, whatever it takes someone can make it happen? After all, people want it to be, so why not? Today, a local Bay Area promoter who has been involved in big shows had an answer for that question – “We can, but you would need a lot of resources, access to talent and the craziness to pull it off,” he added, “so what’s stopping us, let’s just do it.” The enthusiasm is there, and one might initially just want to jump up and down and say yeah what a great idea and in one of the most beautiful areas of California too!

The founder of this show is alive and well and the question we need to ask is simple – will there be another Amador Gold Rush Festival? It’s not for us, or anyone to just go and produce this show 48 years later because we can. That would be completely disrespectful of its originator without his involvement, but most importantly his blessing. Nobody knows what it is like to put on a show such as this unless you have done it before, and if you have, you know all that it takes to make something like this a reality. It’s not just about making this happen, but to have it be successful too that is the key component to any show small or large. To be able to walk away saying, “The audience, the ticket buyers, the kids at this show had a great time, wow we did it right.” Robert Strand accomplished all of this.

Regardless of the passion one might have, or the experience, resources or as Bill Graham might say, “the Chutzpah” to make this happen, you can have it all and the money too, but it wouldn’t be the same Lake Amador Gold Rush Festival without that same bloodline attached to the show that was there 48 years ago. Believe it or not, when you put on a concert like this you shed your blood, sweat and tears for every single Band, Crew and Concertgoer with this endeavor, and only those in the mix know the mania that you go through, you do everything you can to not let anyone forget it!

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BAM Day On the Green Sponsor 2016

If it’s meant to be it will happen. In the mean time there are a lot of new and exciting “happenings” in music once again in Northern California, from up and coming Downtown Jackson, to the new Day On the Greens, I believe the entire area is on the verge of a major music and entertainment resurgence, much to the delight of all of us concertgoers, I really can’t wait for this to happen.

Join in and let the fun begin! Visit us at the Event City Worldwide Facebook Group for a chance to win your free tickets to the new Day On the Green. Just tell us your favorite Day On the Green story, and if you never attended a Day On the Green yet, tell us a story about any show you were at, make sure it’s a good one and your input just might be rewarded with tickets to Day On the Green 2016!

ecCleanLogoEvent City is the Community Portal for the Events, Hospitality (Food & Beverage), Entertainment & Music industries. Currently in Launch mode, the project changes weekly, the portal changes daily and the community is dynamic. Musicians, Performers, Songwriters, Event Producers, Meeting Managers, Show & Concert Promoters, Film Producers, Entertainers, Actors, Models, Caterers, Chefs, Restaurants, Nightclubs, Hotels, Food Purveyors, Venues, and all industry suppliers are invited to participate and Sign Up for our FREE Live Launch VIP Invitation. We hope to see you there and be part of your success in all of your creative endeavors.

Nolan Apostle is a co-founder, writer, merchandiser, promoter, event impresario, photographer, screenwriter, food lover, and all around nice guy.

ETIQUETTE FOR MUSICIANS ATTENDING NAMM

By Cindy Faust

 

WHAT TO SAY OR NOT DO WHILE AT NAMM

“I deserve an endorsement!   My band is the best ever!”  The most unoriginal and all too repetitive cry heard continuously for the full four days at the NAMM Convention being held January 23 – 26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim California.  The company representatives, exhibitors working NAMM have the patience of Saints and the uncanny ability to politely smile and listen to every single ‘Pop Star’ describe why they deserve to receive products free of charge. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the 95,000 attendees at the NAMM Convention this year, it is important you follow some important advice as well as your heart to this glorious tradeshow for the musical and artistic. Besides a playground filled with all the latest and greatest being offered for to the music industry, it is a place to cut deals, all kinds of deals, all music related and some of them are pretty major.

The purpose of NAMM is commodities, marketing and branding.  Manufactures and retailers have the opportunity to communicate directly and build relationships.  Equipment is on display, products that even the most colorful of imaginations would have a hard time conjuring up, all types of services, demonstrations, lectures and classes are all offered during the NAMM Show.  Networking opportunities abound.  Members of NAMM pay their dues; Manufacturers pay for their booth space, transportation, insurance, salaries/commission and per diem to their employees.  The purpose behind this convention is to make money, not give away merchandise.

So why do so many musicians treat this event as an opportune time to beg?  After years of attending this convention, I have observed the most frequent mistakes made by musicians.  I have taken the time out to humbly share with you a tad bit of advice so that you may possibly leave a lasting impression upon someone, respect their time for the reason they are there, learn more about what is out there – the latest and greatest, and perhaps to even secure an endorsement in the future.

1)      Attitude – Remember the old saying “You catch more flies with honey.”?  This is not the time to be ‘cool’, ‘unapproachable’ or ‘arrogant’.  Smile, be friendly and say “Hello” to people.  You never know who that person is that you just snubbed.   They could possibly make you or break you.

2)      Don’t expect everyone to know who you are.  This rule applies to those who are even ‘Stars’.  For example, you may be famous Jazz artist having a conversation with someone who only works with Classical musicians.  That person may not have a clue who you are, your accomplishments, current projects or level of fame.  For up and coming musicians, just accept the fact that very few people know who you are.  You might be famous in your home town but until you sell millions of dollars’ worth of music, merchandise, and headline sell-out shows in large venues, you are an ‘unknown’.

3)      “Give me, give me, give me.”  Don’t say these words to anyone!    I am sure the thought of “Why should I give you anything?” runs like a continuous loop through the minds of many product representatives.  If you truly want to discuss the possibility of endorsements, obtain the proper contact information and dismiss yourself quickly.  Let the representatives do their job which is marketing their products to ‘Buyers’.

4)      “Mind your P’s and Q’s.”   It is an old English saying when bartenders originating in the seventeenth century.  It literally means “Mind your Pints and Quarts”, in other words, don’t get wasted and act like an idiot.

5)      Germs – keep them away from everyone else.  If you are ill, you should stay home anyway.  If you become ill during your travels, use common sense.  Don’t shake hands; cover your mouth with your arm when you cough; use Kleenex when you sneeze.  Use hand sanitizer!!!

6)      Aisle Clogging – move your body out of the pathway.  Don’t stand in the middle of an aisle while people are trying to get by.  Stand off the side, you will find you won’t get trampled. Say ‘Excuse me.”  You may make a new friend when doing so.

7)      Above all, have fun but play ‘nice’.  You never know who might be watching you.

NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants. You can become a Member of NAMM and the cost to join will depend upon your membership affiliation. The 2014 NAMM Show runs from January 23-26 in Anaheim, California. Join us this year as the world’s most important buyers and decision makers in the music industry converge on sunny Anaheim, at the music product industry’s premier event. The NAMM Show is where brands are built, legends are created and deals are made. At EVENT CITY you will see much more direct information about products, services and what exhibitors and attendees alike have to say about their experience at many conventions representing all of the Events & Creative Industries.

ImageAbout the Author:  Cindy Faust is the latest addition to the Event City Premier Magazine’s entourage of Writers and Reporters who are Journalists with real experience in the industries they write about. Ms. Faust has over thirty years’ experience in the music industry.  She works with talent of all levels from the unknown to the famous, local to international.  Cindy’s passion is to share her observations, knowledge and experience with the Event City audience. She hopes to induce comedy into her musings as she feels humor grabs attention and leaves impressions. She is the Enchantress and Owner of Alchemy By Faust, LLC a professional Talent Management and Booking Agency. She also is available for public speaking gigs, and is a pretty good vocalist as well.

 

BatKid Saves San Francisco as Event City Launches Music Channel “LetsPlay”

By Nolan Apostle
Producer, Contributing Editor and Photographer
Event City Premier Magazine

Let’s Play™ is a featured channel to debut in Q1 2014 on the Event City Network™ during the company’s Live Launch. It will allow Bands, Musicians and Performers to showcase their talents on Event City™ and other areas within the Event City family of websites. It will give all members of Event City the opportunity to see the great talent available through our Events & Creative Community Portal.

Here’s a sample of what Let’s Play is all about – a video and song written by San Francisco Songwriter, Jimi Shawndi, for MILES, the BATKID who stole the hearts of the world when Make-A-Wish Foundation asked him what he wished for, Miles replied, “I want to be Batman for a day”. So BatKid was born and transposed San Francisco into Gotham City! Take a listen to “IF I COULD FLY” Song for Miles and let us know what you think of this local musician’s work. Maybe it will be your song featured by Event City on Let’s Play!

To have your music and videos showcased in our pre-launch and to be included in this future project please send your request to our Music Channel Beta.

Enjoy and Let’s Play™!

 

Music Review: ‘So to These Blue Notes, I Say Goodbye.’

Country Blues Revue Scores Big With Blues For Too Long

By David McGee
Event City Premier Magazine
Writer/Reporter

Blues listeners will find themselves drawn to a newly released recording Blues For Too Long by Country Blues Revue for a number of reasons. We hear in Blues For Too Long the intimacy of blues: its hard, angry feelings, its jubilations, its regrets, its busting out laughing over nothing particular . . . the whole gamut of emotions that makes the blues a long-beloved musical form.

For instance, there’s the tight shuffle rhythm of “Hey Baby,” written and sung by co-leader Michael Handler, and reminiscent of Stax Records in its hey-day. Yet, Country Blues Revue, from Santa Fe, NM, pays homage to a primal blues style, the great incubator of the modern blues styles of Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, and B. B. King that followed country blues.

The recording includes covers of M. Travis’s “Cannonball Rag” and W. Brown’s “Mississippi Blues.” There’s a country feel to “Love Flows Round My Heart” by Marc Malin, Country Blues Revue’s other lead vocalist and guitarist. Malin contributes six original songs, one of which is co-written. His “Jasmine and Gold” evokes country blues’s classic images: “Way down on the Mississippi where the air is thick and slow. Well, I can hear my baby calling, but I just can’t seem to go . . . she goes to my head just like cherry wine.” Malin and Handler set up the song with several instrumental choruses before the vocals start; this was a wise choice. The introduction emotes a nice-and-easy feeling that’s unhurried, just like all good country blues does.

Handler and Malin began Country Blues Revue as a duo and have added support musicians who are quiet capable of setting up the grove for the two vocalists. In addition to singing and performing guitar, Handler plays blues harmonica, his choice instrument since the mid-1960’s. There are obvious influences from country blues forefathers who come to mind listening to Blues For Too Long: Robert Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis, Son House, and Blind Blake. “Cannon Ball Rag” features Malin’s adept finger picking and a walking bass line on guitar that blends nicely with sideman Vin Kelly’s mandolin work. Blues For Too Long excels because the musicians are all willing to share the limelight. It’s clearly a group effort, and the ensemble supports each member as they take chances in their solos. An interesting arrangement of “Love is Blind,” another Malin composition, presents a seldom heard harmonic device in the blues. The lyric laments, “Love is blind, and that’s a damn good thing . . . . If love wasn’t blind, I couldn’t see a thing.” In three-part harmony, the band’s vocalists sing “I . . . I . . . I” adding an intriguing tension to the song which the quip line pays off with: “I couldn’t see a thing.” Here, Country Blues Revue milks a blues technique of tension and release to the hilt and delivers drama the master country blues musicians from long ago created so well.

The joyful vibe of “Funny Feeling” features Cozy Ralston drumming a Charleston rhythm along with Larry Diaz’s bass setting up the groove on Handler’s song. What’s the inspiration for “Funny Feeling”? “Man, I think I was on a long drive, and I pulled over to write this song at a diner,” Handler recalls. “It is not based on fact as far as I know.” Again, winning backing vocals echo Handler who’s singing lead. Here, the band really stretches out. Throughout Blues For Too Long, Handler has matured as a blues harp soloist compared to his previous recordings. He’s tighter on the groove and matches the other soloists and vocalists superbly in the emotions they evoke. “My momma got a chicken,” Michael intones in a whimsical image, “she thought it was a duck, she put it in the oven with the legs all straight up. I know she’s got that funny feeling.”

Malin’s title song “Blues For Too Long” starts off with a reminiscent feeling accompanied by Handler’s plaintive and wistful harmonica playing. The song refers to the harmonic structures of Willie Nelson’s “Nightlife” and Ray Charles’s “Hard Times.” “When you first . . . said goodbye, I was alone, I couldn’t understand why. Even in my heart, I knew was wrong . . . . I’ve had those blues for too long.” Kudos goes to vocalist Stephanie Hatfield who makes a cameo appearance with some spirited vocals.

What’s a blues recording without a good traveling song? Country Blues Revue delivers one with “Goin’ to Taos,” another Handler original where the band reveals its harder, rocking side. It’s “mostly a true story,” Handler says, “A date that went bad, then driving back to Santa Fe from Taos, and a story about a storm on the high road . . . . Folks love it, a real dance tune.” A blues tune inspired by jilted romance? Let’s alert the media on the big news!

Now baby, don’t turn that love lamp low . . . . Cause I’m heading down the highway baby, to Taos, New Mexico.” “Taos” features Malin’s tasty country guitar licks. A New Yorker, Malin spent many years in the Boston and Cambridge, MA, areas teaching country and finger-picking guitar. He’s played the blues for 35 years and is the lead guitar player for Santa Fe’s the Rattlerz in addition to the County Blues Revue. A “Taos” highlight is the versatile Vin Kelly’s lyrical fiddle playing. In the stop-time chorus, Handler shouts: “There’s thunder on the left of me, lightning on the right, you know I’ll be lucky if I make it home tonight!” It makes you want to hit the road too, jack! Handler seems fond of Taos, Santa Fe, and the Southwest he now calls home, as opposed to his former city Oakland, CA, with its hard street life: “violence, rape, and murder everywhere,” he laments in “Taos.” Since relocating to Santa Fe about five years ago, Handler has played with Michael Hearne, the HooDoos, Joe West, The Three Faces of Jazz, Felix y Los Gatos, Magdalena’s Dream and the Rattlerz, and has recorded with Bill Hearne and Bethleham and Eggs.

Handler points out, “The ‘live feel’ we were after comes courtesy of a great engineer we had in Bill Palmer at Santa Fe’s Frogville Records, and his wife Stephanie Hatfield sang great and added SOOOO much to the title track ‘Blues For Too Long.’ I can’t thank them enough.” The live feel gives Blues For Too Long an immediacy that’s sustained throughout and allows for enjoyment of repeated listening. Listen for a surprise, as the band breaks into a jubilant cadence breaking from the slower nostalgic groove of “Blues For Too Long.”

Asked why he plays the blues, “How can I not?” Handler responds. “It’s all about inspiration that’s either there or it’s not . . . . Anyway, I learned finger-picking guitar years ago. Jerry Garcia was one of my teachers, so why let it go to waste?”

And what of Handler’s affinity to country blues? “It’s what I was listening to in the early- to mid-1960’s along with Texas style, Mississippi delta, Chicago style, so that’s what I learned to play. I was inspired by Lightin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Mance Lipscomb, then Dave van Ronk, Tom Rush, Bob Dylan, folk festivals and hootenannys, Monterey Folk Festival, Monterey Pop Festival . . . . I had a lot of influences.” He adds, “I’m glad to be in a band that respects that tradition.”

Blues For Too Long’s title songrejoices: “So to these blue notes, I say goodbye. You had me down, well you sure didn’t have me tied. I’m going to leave here with a happy song, yeah ‘cause I’ve had those blues for too long.” No doubt, listeners will find in Blues For Too Long the happy songs they’re longing for.

Bruce Springsteen & E-Street Band at Superbowl XLIII

Bruce S & E-Street Band ROCK the Superbowl

Bruce S & E-Street Band ROCK the Superbowl

I had just turned on the TV late afternoon on Sunday to catch some of the Superbowl, and Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band were announced and Wow what a show it was!! They rocked to many favorites and the crowd did not let up at all. Fireworks lit up the sky in Tampa Bay tonight, and the crowd sung along to Born to Run and many other awesome Springsteen hits.

Watching Bruce and the E-Street Band perform today brings back many memories of my days in the Rock’n’Roll world. Bruce Springsteen, the BOSS, is the Robert De Niro of the Music Industry! Those in the movie biz know how nice, openly friendly and courteous, a real gentleman Mr. De Niro is; and not just to his friends and co-workers but everyone. One of the most powerful men in Hollywood and he’s a sweetheart!

I had the opportunity to work with Bruce Springsteen and company back in the 70’s and 80’s and they were all very professional, extremely well organized (something very rare back in those days for Rock’n’Rollers), and Bruce and the gang were just the nicest of them all. No egos flying every which way, no attitude, just good times and getting their job done with a flair to please the masses.

I’ll never forget the night I gave a ride to one of Bruce’s close friends who was attending his concert from out of town. It was very late, but I lived on the Peninsula and I was giving him a ride to Bruce’s parents house who also lived on the Peninsula.

When we got there everyone was just so tired. Bruce was sitting at the table across from his wife, his hand on his forehead, obviously extremely tired, and he looked up at me and said, “Hey, you sure look exhausted”. Here he was, just finished an exploding show, in his mom’s kitchen, and he still had it in him to say “hey” to someone he barely knew. Suffice it to say, I rested for about 15 minutes, got a few aspirins, said my good-byes, and got the biggest hug from Mama Springsteen, you would of thought I was one of her own!! I was told later she is that way with all of Bruce’s friends!!

At that moment I realized why Bruce is the beautiful guy that he is, why he chooses to have those kind of people around him, and after seeing him there exhausted, I realize he really is the “Working Man” that he so often signs about.

Back to the show — “IT’S BOSS TIME”,

Little Stevie belted out those words at the end of their set at Superbowl 43!! What an incredible show, you can’t help but feel good watching them play! Those of you that know me know I am not that big of a spectator sports fan, I’d rather be playing than watching, and as far as I am concerned, I just watched the Superbowl!!

May Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band live forever!!

Bruce Springsteen - "You can't help but feel good watching him"

Bruce Springsteen - "You can't help but feel good watching them play"

Nolan Apostle – Contributing Editor, Producer
Event City Creative Magazines
Event City BlogaZines
magazine@eventcity.net

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On April 17th, 2008 Bruce’s dear friend and keyboard player Danny Federici died after a 3 year battle with Melanoma. During the Superbowl they debuted a “Danny Fund PSA” and it can be seen at the Danny Federici Memorial Site. Please visit it now to learn more how you can help in this great cause. From everyone here at the Event City Network, our heartfelt condolences go out to Danny’s family, Bruce Springsteen, his entire band and management at Thrill Hill Productions and all of Danny’s friends.