Making a Scene: The Return of Shea Stadium

Making a Scene: The Return of Shea Stadium

Beginning this month, Shea Stadium is partnering with Blast Radio to launch a series of shows to highlight the bands, moments, and memories, share unreleased recordings from the vaults, and circle back with some of the artists who played Shea back in the day. Equal parts oral history and career retrospective, Shea Rewind, Six Degrees Of Shea-paration, Shea Stadium Presents, and Shea Press Play will together help tell the story of the seminal venue, by the people who were there to see it all unfold.

Shea's Founders (Left to Right): Luke Chiaruttini, Adam Reich, and Nora Dabdoub

For those who were dialed into NYC’s indie scene from 2009 - 2017, Shea Stadium was a veritable crossroads and creative incubator for artists making music in a variety of moods and milieus, up and down the eastern seaboard. The nondescript, largely windowless building at 20 Meadow Street in Brooklyn hosted hundreds of bands, and over its 8-year run, logged over 2,000 live performances. Shea’s founders - Adam Reich, Nora Dabdoub, and Luke Chiaruttini - fostered an environment that thrived on inclusivity: championing not only a belief in the countless artists they booked, but also in preserving the generative, DIY energy that made a series of rooms feel like hallowed ground.

Adam, Nora, and Luke’s commitment to Shea Stadium and the bands it showcased was unparalleled. Local and touring acts alike were offered a stage and a PA, while the reputation the three had built through sheer tenacity and dedication resonated with the audiences who came back night after night in search of a good time and, more often than not, their new favorite band. At some point between working the door and making sure the sound was right, the Shea crew had become bastions and tastemakers, and through fate or will, they booked some of the most iconic artists of the contemporary moment.

20 Meadow Street, exterior

Upon Shea Stadium’s closing in 2017, the New York music scene lost one of its vital organs, leaving a massive rift in the city’s creative ecosystem. Losing the longtime, all-ages venue foretold the end of an era, and left many music fans adrift in search of a new home. In the intervening years, Adam, Nora, and Luke kept the Shea community afloat through their website, and by continuing to make their treasure trove of archival recordings available to wistful fans and budding scholars of the scene.

It is in this spirit that Adam, Nora, and Luke are inking a new chapter in the saga of Shea Stadium. With so many bands from Shea’s run now making the rounds on late-night shows and headlining festivals, a new generation of fans is showing interest in the humble origins that helped kindle countless flames.

The founding concept of our space was always to capture these performances with the hope of sharing them with an audience far greater than just those in attendance. Along the way, we captured hundreds of artist’s first baby steps, big breakouts, album release shows, reunions, and farewell performances. It’s been a real thrill to follow their journey, some to levels of notoriety that were unimaginable then, and others who we continue to celebrate more privately as legends of our inner circle.

We’re excited to be taking people on guided tours of our show archives for the first time, while also highlighting artists who would most certainly be part of Shea’s present and future as we transition into a new era for us in NYC.”

-Adam Reich, Co-founder of Shea Stadium

Show schedule (more details to follow): 

    • January 27: Six Degrees of Shea-paration 
    • February 3: Shea Stadium Presents: Frankie Cosmos
    • February 10: Shea Rewind - December 6, 2013 (Yvette, Perfect Pussy, and California X) 
    • February 17: Shea Rewind - December 13, 2013 (TONSSTARTSBANDHT)
    • Additional broadcasts to be announced 

Six Degrees Of Shea-paration

Through collaboration, promotion, and the prolific sharing of bandmates, bills, and boroughs, Shea Stadium served as a creative hub and incubator for musicians from Bushwick and beyond. The first episode in the series will feature live recordings by Liquor Store, Real Estate, Juan Wauters, Unstoppable Death Machines, Japanther, The Honey-Dos, Screaming Females, and No Joy.

On January 27, tune in for the inaugural episode of Six Degrees of Shea-paration, and hear how it all fits together.

Shea Stadium Presents: Frankie Cosmos  

Each month, Shea Stadium will highlight a different artist, entity, or institution that has helped support New York’s ever-evolving musical ecosystem. Featuring recordings from the Shea Stadium archives, Q&As with artists and creators, and general musings on the state of the New York scene, join Shea Stadium every month for a recurring segment on the cultural impact and implications of being at the heart of the action.

For this episode, Shea Stadium are joined by Greta Kline, aka Frankie Cosmos, to discuss songwriting, DIY aesthetic, and the general contour of Kline’s artistic arc and output. Tune in for a behind-the-scenes interview with one of Shea Stadium’s most prolific performers.

On February 3, tune in for the inaugural episode of Shea Stadium Presents, and hear an exclusive interview with Frankie Cosmos and unearthed recordings from the vault.

Shea Rewind - December 6, 2013 (Yvette, Perfect Pussy, and California X)

With more than 2,000 recorded live performances spanning Shea Stadium’s run as the premier all-ages, DIY venue in Bushwick, NYC, each episode of Shea Rewind will give listeners curated insight into a hand-picked show from the archives, complete with commentary, flashbacks, and “on this day” accounts from the people who made it possible. Adam, Luke, and Nora have two episodes on deck that will beam you back to December 2013 to relive some iconic performances.

On February 10th, the crew will rewind back to December 6, 2013, for highlights from Yvette, Perfect Pussy, and California X.

Shea Rewind - December 13, 2013 (TONSSTARTSBANDHT) 

On February 17, Shea Rewind will return as the crew takes it back to December 13, 2013 for a full set by, and anecdotes from, psych-noise rockers TONSSTARTSBANDHT.

Shea Press Play

Equal parts blank canvas and pass-the-aux, Shea Press Play is a series that will allow Adam, Luke, and Nora to once again flex their curatorial prowess, and share some of their favorite tracks with the same discerning ears that packed Shea’s most memorable bills. For those savvy enough to catch Luke & Adam’s 2021 recap, you already know the deal.

See this story featured in Rolling Stone

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