Saturday night, I had the pleasure of attending the Herbert Grönemeyer concert at the historic Chicago Theater. Unfortunately, the concert was only relatively sparsely attended. The 3,600-capacity theater had probably less than a thousand concertgoers. I had really expected the show to sell out or nearly so. After all, this was Grönemeyer's first North American concert. On a Saturday night, fans from all over North America and indeed the world could conveniently reach the major transportation hub of Chicago. The other North American date, in New York, has been moved from the similarly sized Beacon Theater to the 1,025-capacity Irving Plaza.
A poorly-attended Grönemeyer concert isn't a portent of cultural doom, but I find it rather sad nonetheless. The two old-line economic hubs are still major players in international trade and the home of countless multinational corportations. It's too bad that prosperity and affluence apparently do not tend to make people curious or aware of life in other countries.