Sorry, Bruce, But You’re No Taylor Swift
The most expensive tickets to his Philly shows this week are one-third the price of her cheapest seats. Plus, about Alex Holley's braids.
Check phillymag.com each morning Monday through Friday for the latest edition of Philly Today. And if you have a news tip for our hardworking Philly Mag reporters, please direct it here. You can also use that form to send us reader mail. We love reader mail!
You Can Find Bruce Springsteen Philadelphia Tickets in the Bargain Bin
UPDATE 8/16/2023: Both Philadelphia Bruce Springsteen shows have been canceled, reportedly due to illness. Promoters say they plan to reschedule.
Full disclosure: I do not like Bruce Springsteen.
I dislike Bruce Springsteen so much that I once wrote an article titled “Why I Hate Bruce Springsteen.” Years later, I repackaged that as “Bruce Springsteen Sucks and Here Are 10 Reasons Why”. (Sophomoric, I know.)
These stories produced more reader mail than any other I’ve written for Philly Mag — one guy wrote an epic 2,300-word response — and I continue to get reader mail about them all these years later. People love them some Bruce Springsteen. But maybe not as much as they used to.
Springsteen has two shows this week at Citizens Bank Park, one on Wednesday and one on Friday. And it’s fair to say these concerts aren’t exactly hot tickets.
You can get tickets to Springsteen’s Wednesday concert for as little as $99. The most expensive seats, which are right in front of the stage in the pit, are going for $435 on the resale market.
No, that’s not chump change. But let’s put this in perspective.
Taylor Swift played three massively sold-out shows at Lincoln Financial Field, which holds considerably more people than Citizens Bank Park, and a good chunk of the sections at Citizens Bank Park aren’t even open for seating at the Springsteen show. The cheapest resale tickets in the nosebleediest of nosebleeds for Taylor Swift? $1,454 each. Meaning the most expensive Bruce Springsteen tickets are less than a third the cost of the cheapest Taylor Swift tickets. (My stickler editor points out that Springsteen already played Philadelphia this year, while Swift hadn’t toured since 2018. Whatever. He also admits to being a “very big” Bruce Springsteen fan. So there’s that.)
If you do hit up the bargain bin for Springsteen tickets, I have some good news for you: The weather looks positively perfect for an outdoor summer concert. Enjoy, if you must.
TV News Personalities vs. Their Viewers
Last week was a weird one in the annals of local TV news personalities and their relationships with viewers.
First, viewers criticized 6 ABC meteorologist Adam Joseph for his use of “down at the shore” as opposed to the more locally acceptable “down the shore.” Joseph took them to task, explaining that station management prefers accurate use of the English language.
Then, viewers got angry at Cecily Tynan, inaccurately claiming that she overhyped last Monday’s storms. Tynan stood up for herself and rightly pointed out that those storms brought significant damage to the region.
I thought we’d be able to make it through the week without any other such ruckuses. But no. Fox 29 treasure Alex Holley got a new hairdo. Braids. And some people thought this would be a good time to publicly tell her they don’t like her hairstyle. In case you missed the memo, it’s not nice to comment on somebody’s appearance. It’s even more of a no-no to comment on a woman’s hair. And a Black woman’s braids? As President Biden once memorably said, c’mon man!
One of my favorite restaurants in South Philadelphia is Mike’s BBQ, the Mike being Michael Strauss. I was a bit surprised (and disappointed) when Strauss recently announced that he had sold the operation to some 24-year-old guy named Daniel Grobman. But I was at least pleased to hear that Strauss was sticking around through Labor Day. Alas, Strauss is already gone, as he just announced on social media, explaining that he got “cut early.” Oh well.
Meanwhile, Marc Vetri just acquired a prime piece of property: the building housing Vetri Cucina. Since Vetri opened the famed Italian restaurant at 1312 Spruce Street 25 years ago this September, he’s been renting the place. But he tells me he just bought the entire building. The sale price? $1.35 million. That’s about 8,200 tasting menus at Vetri, not including wine.
And if you want to own a piece of one of Philadelphia’s most spectacular restaurant/bar failures in history, Bankroll, which just opened in March, is auctioning off pretty much everything inside. Even a bottle of “dirty martini mix,” which I didn’t realize was a thing. Ew.
Where’s My Damn Bus?
If you’re a regular rider of SEPTA’s buses and trolleys, you may face more delays than usual in the upcoming days thanks to SEPTA staffing issues. The good news is that those staffing issues are being caused by emergency driver training, which has come about due to the alarming number of SEPTA accidents in recent weeks. Check the system alerts on SEPTA’s website or app to see if your route is affected.
The Philly born-and-bred band Mt. Joy played a sold-out show at the Mann Center on Saturday night. That’s all well and good. I heard the performance was great. But what you really need to know is that Eagles superstar Jason Kelce showed up and led the thousands of people there in singing “Fly Eagles Fly.” Fortunately, it was all documented on video:
Jason Kelce comes on stage at the Mt. Joy concert, says Philly is the best city in the goddamn world and leads the crowd in a “Fly Eagles Fly” chant pic.twitter.com/0GeSqP2zf1
— shamus (@shamus_clancy) August 14, 2023
Abbott Elementary co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes, popped into West Philadelphia’s School of the Future on Saturday to give away school supplies. Ralph is up for another Emmy for her work on Abbott Elementary. But if she wins, how the heck is she going to outdo her last victory speech?
By the Numbers
777: Movies this Pennsylvania guy has seen in theaters over the past year. He saw Puss in Boots: The Last Wish 47 times. Why? He wants to be in the Guinness Book of World Records, which appears to be what’s happening. Goals.
40,000: Square footage of Reclectic, URBN’s new store at the Philadelphia Mills (née Franklin Mills) mall. They’re selling clothes that were previously used in URBN’s clothing rental service as well as irregular items and stuff that just hasn’t sold so well in the regular stores.
105 percent: Increase in car thefts in Philadelphia thus far this year compared to the same time period last year. The good news? Shootings and other violent crimes are down.
And from the Games-All-Over Sports Desk …
Cristopher Sánchez was on the mound for the Phils in Friday night’s opener to their home series with the Twins, up against lefty Dallas Keuchel. Jorge Polanco led off the Twins’ second with a solo homer, after which Max Kepler did the same: 2-0. Nick Castellanos started our second with a double, and Stott, the next batter, brought him home with the same thing; J.T. Realmuto brought him around with a single. A Weston Wilson walk and a pitch that hit Edmundo Sosa loaded them up, and a Johan Rojas grounder made it 3-2 Phils. Kyle Schwarber singled another home, as did Alec Bohm with a sac fly. Damn! And a Trea Turner single, and one by Castellanos. Day-um! At which point the Twins brought in pitcher Josh Winder, or we might have been there all night.
Things calmed down for a bit until in the fourth, walks by Schwarbs and Bohm, a wild pitch, singles by Turner and Castellanos and a Stott sac fly scored three more: 9-2. A Wilson single brought in Brent Headrick to pitch. Ri-dunk-u-lous. I would have switched to the Union’s Leagues Cup match, but there was a power outage at Subaru Park that delayed the game for more than an hour. Sixth inning?
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 12, 2023
Ho-hum. Jeff Hoffman pitched the seventh for us, and it was Dylan Covey in the eighth, with no damage. The Twins brought in Jordan Luplow for the eighth, and poor Sosa got hit with another pitch. OMG, and Rojas homered — his first major-league dinger. No need for Craig Kimbrel tonight; end their misery already! And the fates did: a 13-2 annihilation. What a game.
On Saturday, after a brief rain delay, it was déjà vu all over again, as starter Taijuan Walker, true to name, walked three batters and allowed a ground-out that made it 1-0. Good news! Bryce was back, playing DH. Bad news: Their starter, Pablo López, got him to strike out. It was then a bunch of nothing-much for both teams until the Twins got two solo (thank God) homers in the fourth: 3-0. Is this park Homer Heaven or what?
The fifth brought a walk and a hit batter by Taijuan, and the Phils notched a couple of singles but nothing more. Matt Strahm came in for the sixth and held the line. But in the seventh, Gregory Soto got clubbed for a solo Carlos Correa homer, a Kepler double, a walk and a Matt Wallner single that scored two more. In came Yunior Marte and another homer, by Joey Gallo: 8-0. We did pick one up in the eighth, yippee whee. Crikey. Let’s try this again.
Oh, for chrissake, Minnesota got a solo homer in the first inning of Sunday’s game off starter Ranger Suárez. Sonny Gray, on the mound for the Twins, wasn’t having such woes. In our second, a Stott walk, a Cave single and Rojas getting smacked with a pitch loaded them up for Schwarbs with two outs, and he … struck out.
Three straight Twins singles in the third made it 2-0, and it stayed there a while. Ranger came out for the seventh for Seranthony, and Griffin Jax supplanted Gray in the bottom half. He gave up singles to Cave and Stubbs, then hit Rojas with a pitch to load them up. That brought in Caleb Thiebar to pitch to Schwarbs, who … struck out, and Bohm, who was called out on strikes and protested so vehemently that he was ejected. Rob Thomson was also tossed, in the eighth, for what he considered another bad call. Two more Twins pitching changes made no difference; the Phils had evidently signed some sort of no-offense pledge. Dylan Covey let in another in the ninth. Pfft. 3-0 Twins. Get some rest, dudes. You need it.
Rare Birds Sighting, Etc. …
I’m really not sure what to say about the Eagles’ pre-season bout with the Ravens on Saturday night. Pre-season football is so weird. I guess it’s useful as a glimpse of the future? And it was fun to see Jalen Carter chasing down Baltimore’s QB on his first NFL play, and to watch our cool, calm new backup QB, Tanner McKee. (Did you know he had cancer as a kid?) Fletcher Cox chatting on the sideline was a good time, too. However. Some mistakes were made. What the hell — I love football. Sue me. You need a score? We lost, 20-19, okay? We missed a two-point point-after attempt that would have scored it. Whatever.
Media is headed to Little League World Series (which starts Wednesday)on a walk-off two-run homer by Trevor Skowronek.
THE FIRST PENNSYLVANIA HIT OF THE GAME IS A WALK-OFF HR TO SEND THEM TO WILLIAMSPORT 😱 pic.twitter.com/MBycZn6x65
— ESPN (@espn) August 11, 2023
And on the Sixers front?
ESPN Sources: The 76ers have ended trade talks on guard James Harden and plan to bring him back to training camp for start of the season. The Sixers had periodic offseason conversations with the Clippers — Harden’s desired destination — but no traction on a deal materialized. pic.twitter.com/sJwXMsBYKW
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 12, 2023
And in Doop News …
The Union played Querétaro Friday night in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals, once the blackout at Subaru Park was resolved. Jésus Bueno repaid the crowd for their patience by scoring in the ninth minute. You’ll never ever guess who picked up a yellow card in the 47th minute — oh, hello, José Martínez! Two minutes later, one for Mexico. Good. But Querétaro evened it in the 64th by Ángel Sepúlvida, and it was a whole new game.
They got hit with a yellow, though, for high jinks in the lineup before a free kick by the Union. And one more, at 85, for tripping on a breakaway. And one more still, in the 89th. Chippy! Ten minutes stoppage time added. And a second yellow, on a clothesline by Mendoza, that sent him off the pitch. Woo! Free kick just outside the box … taken by Kai Wagner. Yet another yellow during the lineup on Mexico, for delay of game. A barely missed goal for Jake Elliott, and a motherfucking goal two minutes later on a deft touch by Chris Donovan.
— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) August 12, 2023
Beautiful! We’re through! And a melée on the field afterward, just for good measure. Gotta love soccer. Next up: Inter Miami — and Lionel Messi — Tuesday at 7. Doop!