NEW YORK — New York City’s Madison Square Garden is ready to rock ‘n’ roll again.
The Foo Fighters were set to shake the famed arena with a Sunday concert — the venue’s first show in more than 460 days.
MSG says the concert for vaccinated audience members will be its first at 100% capacity since the pandemic.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for over a year,” Dave Grohl said in a statement. “And Madison Square Garden is going to feel that HARD.”
Foo Fighters, who first headlined the Garden in 2008, last played at the venue in 2018.
Also over the weekend, 15 months after shuttering for the pandemic, New York’s Radio City Music Hall reopened its doors Saturday for the Tribeca Festival premiere of a new Dave Chappelle documentary for a full-capacity, fully-vaccinated audience.
The debut of “Dave Chappelle: This Time This Place,” which chronicles Chappelle’s pandemic stand-up series held in rural Ohio cornfields, marked the first time the hallowed midtown hall was yet again packed since closing in March 2020 — a shutdown that put a year-plus’s worth of concerts, including Radio City’s famous Rockettes, on ice for easily the longest spell since the Art Deco venue first opened in 1932.
The premiere Saturday evening, the closing night gala for the 20th Tribeca Festival, was seen as a symbolic reawakening of the arts in New York, where many of the world’s most famous stages — Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Broadway theaters — remain dark.
Masks weren’t required inside Radio City but proof of vaccination was. In announcing the event in May, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it would “go a long way towards bringing back this state, overall.”
On Saturday, some entered Radio City a little hesitantly. But most seemed invigorated by being back in Radio City for a much-anticipated movie. Joel and Abby Ralph, who wed a handful of months before the pandemic began, were excited to be out together and not in their Upper West Side apartment.
“It feels normal-ish,” said Abby.
Kyra Houston, a regular festivalgoer, came with her more reticent friend, Renee Cassell.
“I feel happy. I was going through a funk,” said Houston, gazing around. It was her second movie of the day. “I feel like a haze is being lifted.”
Before the elbow-to-elbow audience, Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal celebrated the occasion.
“We’re fully vaxed and socially squeezed together,” said Rosenthal, introducing the film. “Isn’t that great?”
The crowd roared.