“Hell is For Seniors” Pat Benatar/Neil Giraldo and Madison VanDenburg at Empire State Plaza 07/13/2022 (The Most Honest Review) -RadioRadioX.com

Written by on July 14, 2022

With the help of my photographer friends Amy Modesti and Tim Reidy, I Rob Smittix am submitting this review for you.

I didn’t investigate too hard prior to the show but I can tell you that many people including myself had no idea that Madison VanDenburg was going to be the opening act. I was anticipating this show mostly because my Mom was coming. My mother is a true WARRIOR because she is a lung cancer survivor and several years ago she wouldn’t have been able to be there. I truly count my blessings. She’s kicking cancer’s ass! Because parking is terrible I didn’t want my Mom to have to walk far to get to the show so I had my brother drop her off at the museum where I waited for her. I was seated on the only bench there is in front of the Museum. A strange guy sat on the other end of the bench while I looked out for my brother’s car. A beautiful voice started singing and the stranger said who is that? I looked on my phone and Empire State Plaza Events posted that Madison VanDenburg has hit the stage! So now I know! An African American family was crossing the street to the event and this jerk on the bench says “I didn’t know black people listened to Pat Benatar.” Then he laughed. I said “why they hell not?” and walked away. Society still needs to work on it’s ignorance problem.

My Mom arrived and brought a chair because she obviously needs to sit. She’s been doing well with not needing her oxygen tank but with the crowd and the heat she decided it was best to wear it. Because she and my family arrived after the show started finding a spot to set up the chair where we could actually see the show was almost impossible but we tried. The crowd was thick and all of the lawn chairs that were set up in front of the museum stairs made it very difficult to walk. At this point it’s my Mom, my 5 year nephew, my brother, my sister in law and myself trying to make it through the crowd. It was not easy and I’m trying to be protective of my mother and my little nephew of course. We got stuck in the crowd’s gridlock and could not safely move through. Here’s where it gets ridiculous.

As we were trying to move forward a security guard was very rudely ordering us to continue forward even though it wasn’t clear enough for a woman with an oxygen tank and a little boy to pass. I said to him we a trying to move and he says “No you’re not, you’re just standing there.” I was like dude we’re trying and instead of offering to help or trying to be empathetic just a little bit, he continued to be a dick to us. It was a person in the crowd that helped create a pathway for us, not the “security” guard that is supposed to be there to help in these situations. I am not pleased at all about that incident. You know, you don’t realize how hard it is for people with special needs in these situations until you find yourself in the middle of it.

We decided to be comfortable and sit in the grassy area near the playground art work under the Corning Tower. From this point on we had a blast. I took my nephew on the art “playground” (which really isn’t a playground) so he could “parkour” as he put it. Then I decided to get a beer. So let me just ask this logical question. Why are there separate 3 lines to get a drink? One for your bracelet, one for your ticket and finally you get your drink! Besides the wait the problem that these unnecessary lines created was more congestion. But I digress.

What can I say about Pat Benatar?  The classically trained vocalist still has it and she looked and sounded amazing. She played all of the songs that you’d expect and her encore with The Beatles and Johnny Cash covers were the icing on the cake. Overall it was a great night spent with great people. Even Tommy Love came over to greet my Mom knowing that she’s been a fan of his for quite some time. I ran into Ted Etoll (Empire Live) who was on his mountain bike and I told him how happy I was that my Mom was with us. He said “rock n roll saves lives, look at me!”

Okay, so Empire State Plaza Events I have a solution to help curb the congestion and it would help make these events safer for those with special needs and for families. Here it is. If you bring a lawn chair you have to sit in the grass. Problem solved and if you won’t get rid of the 3 separate lines for a drink (which is absurd), then I’d highly recommend moving the beer tents father away from the stage crowd.



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