In a Brooklyn loft, across from an old fur-refinishing depot, Sean Heaney and Adam Reich are trying something new: "We thought of a public recording facility where bands can come play and make live recordings," Reich explains. And with that, the DIY concert venue Shea Stadium was born. (The venue's name is a cheeky homage to the Mets' old home.) Reich, a producer and engineer, records and mixes every show on a sophisticated 16-track system, then sends the shows to the bands in lieu of payment. The venue is a win-win for fledgling bands, who save on recording fees, and for audiences, who can show up and settle in for a night of undiscovered talent. Reich and Heaney maintain an archive of all the shows, and post them up on Shea's website to stream for free.
Now in its fifth month of operation, Shea Stadium hasn't had to do much recruiting -- up-and-coming bands find it and ask to play there. Shea's acceptance rate is "definitely better than Harvard's," Reich says with a laugh. "We give everyone a chance. Most of the bands that ask us about playing here play here eventually." And what would the founders' dream lineup for a show at Shea Stadium be? Heaney and Reich can't answer at first -- the possibilities are too limitless. But after mulling it over, Heaney replies a few hours later by e-mail: "David Bowie, the Wu-Tang Clan, Prince and the Kinks."
If you build it, they will come Shea Stadium's first weekend festival, "Buddy Fest," runs Sept. 9â11 and features bands and artists from all over the country. The entire festival will be recorded for a possible box set release. (top: Jack Donovan from Museyroom)
Shea Stadium, 20 Meadow St., Brooklyn, NY