Ever been to a concert? If the answer is “no” we can’t be friends. As a young thing, I LOVED going to concerts. Throughout high school and college I jumped at every chance I could to see a live performance. This was especially pleasing to my dad, who somehow managed to be the chaperone to the majority of the shows I went to before I was able to drive. I’ll bet his favorite event was probably the time he made friends with a security guard at a New Found Glory/Blink 182 concert and the guy gave him a set of ear plugs. (Thanks for taking me dad! I love you!)
As much as I love concerts, I tend to get major anxiety around food preparedness. Does the show time conflict with normal dinner hours? If yes, I will need to plan ahead to decide if I should eat before or after. Does the place offer any food? The answer to that questions depends on the venue. A concert at Yankee Stadium has tons of food vendors, so you can have a cheeseburger and watch Beyonce. A restaurant/lounge venue generally offers a decent sized menu that can be brought to the table, assuming you are seated at a table. But, what about all of those “standing room only” and “general admission” concerts? It seems unlikely that I’ll be “throwin’ diamonds in the sky” while trying to twirl up some spaghetti and meatballs in a bowl.
This past Monday, July 25th, 2016 I was at the Highline Ballroom in NYC to see a concert and to eat dinner. I had a plan and I didn’t have anxiety about what time I would eat, where I would eat, or what to do with the fork and knife while “raising da roof” with a few hundred people. When I purchased my ticket for the show a few months ago, I noticed that it said, “full menu available.” That seemed a bit strange to me, like am I going to have Steak Frites in the middle of a mosh pit?! (Because I’d sort of be okay with that if no one touched my food.) I did a bit of research and learned that at Highline Ballroom, there is a “standing menu” available during concerts. This means all of the food offered on the menu is prepared and served in a way that can be eaten standing up and do not require utensils. Now, you can “cut loose, footloose” while enjoying your dinner.
Upon arrival at the venue, I headed straight to the bar and asked for a menu, because I was huun-gryy. I decided on the beef sliders with pimento cheese and jalapeños. The sliders also came with french fries (SCORE!). As I waited for my food to come out, I involuntarily bobbed my head around and tapped my feet to the band on stage, the kids from School of Rock, Bedford Hills. When my food arrived, the School of Rock Summer Tour had just come out to perform their set. I had two thoughts, “wow those kids are really good,” and “wow these fries are really good.” Seriously, I was like a pig in shit! The french fries were awesome. Both the fries and sliders came in a cardboard “to-go” box making it easy to carry. There was even a cup full of ketchup inside! Now, if I’m going to be completely honest with you, I have to tell you that I took the jalapeños off the sliders before eating them. But, that’s because I don’t like spicy things! With the removal of my spicy enemy, I was able to rip into the sliders like Ozzy Osbourne did to that bat! (Rock ‘N Roll, am I right?!)
Full beyond belief, I was now ready to immerse myself in the crowd. Slightly concerned I may throw up, I contained my “moving and grooving” for a little while. Pretty much until Dalton Rapattoni came out with Prince’s, “Let’s Go Crazy.” I mean, the song is literally telling me to go crazy, so screw you digestion! It was great! The School of Rock Summer Tour performed with Dalton for the rest of the show, including a special guest, his sister, Sophie Rapattoni. Dalton and Sophie sang an acoustic duet before reconvening with the band. It was pretty epic.
Monday was really an awesome adventure. I didn’t have to worry about finding dinner and the dinner that I had was delicious. Plus, the concert itself was a lot of fun and every performance was incredible. This is including the band from School of Rock, Wayne who closed out the night. So, if you have any future plans to go to Highline Ballroom take me with you! Any place that has great food and entertainment at the same time is worth multiple re-visits! “Put ya hands in the air, like you don’t care!”