Sometime between the August 9th Modest Mouse show and the Drake and Lil’ Wayne concert on August 19, a vague email from a group of “concerned citizens” was sent to some tennis stadium neighbors in Forest Hills Gardens and along 69th Avenue.
The email expressed concern over the noise levels of past concerts and a 2 1/2-hour sound check prior to the Modest Mouse show that started at 6 p.m.
But local residents who attended the concert had nothing but good things to say about the shows.
“The 10 p.m. concert curfew is more than reasonable, and we're talking only about six shows a year spread out over the summer months,” said Pat Lannan. “I walked around our neighborhood not long before the Drake vs. Lil’ Wayne concert, and the restaurants and pubs were packed.
“Our police department has done a wonderful job to make sure these concerts are orderly, so by allowing them to happen, we’re showing support for our businesses and the neighborhood,” he added.
BarbaraAnn Balzaretti Flannery agreed.
“There are no safety issues, and the concertgoers and the cops have been great,” she said. “The concerts not only bring revenue to the neighborhood, but inspire budding young artists to follow their dream. Music is food for the soul, so let’s embrace it.”
“I’m sorry that some people are complaining about noise, but the concert ended at 10 p.m. sharp,” said Matthew Mandell, who attended the Zac Brown Band and Drake vs. Lil’ Wayne concerts with his family. “The stadium has a historic feel, it's a good size, and it’s awesome to be able to walk to concerts in our neighborhood. There's nothing like an outdoor concert in the summer, and I am looking forward to next year.”
Opening the concert in unison, Drake and Lil’ Wayne were ready to energize their fans. Lil' Wayne opened with “Blunt Blowin,” and then a comeback was delivered by Drake with “We Made It” and “Draft Day.” Solo numbers followed, along with a face-to-face rap battle. A climactic moment was witnessing Drake being hoisted 20 feet above Forest Hills.
According to a smartphone app that allowed fans to vote for the winner, Drake was victorious. But the real winners were the fans, who had a mid-summer’s night in Forest Hills to remember for the rest of their lives.
Concert promoters Jon McMillan and Mike Luba issued a joint statement after the concert.
“Drake and Lil' Wayne are world-class performers at the top of their respective games, and they put on an unforgettable performance,” they said. “The atmosphere in the stadium was electric. We continue to work closely with city agencies, local officials, community groups, and individual neighbors to improve the overall concert experience for our patrons and residents in the areas surrounding the Stadium.”
Upcoming concerts include The Replacements on September 19 and Phil Lesh and Friends on September 21.