There is basketball action in the Ford Center now, but what about all of the great concerts that have already been downtown. We asked the Entertainment Roundtable for their best Ford Center moments, as well as some thoughts about Halloween, High School Musical and comedy.
1. The Thunder tipped off this week at the Ford Center. What's the best event you have seen at the building since it opened?
Assistant Entertainment Editor George Lang:
Paul McCartney, October 2002 -- As a grown man given to white-hot cynicism, imagine my chagrin when Macca launches into "Hello, Goodbye" and I begin to weep like a wee baby. I've seen many shows at the Ford Center, but none of the others caused me to cry, including that 2004 Jessica Simpson concert.
Entertainment Editor Gene Triplett:
Paul McCartney, Oct. 15, 2005. More than 14,000 fans paid to see Sir Paul play that night, kicking in as much as $253 a pop toward covering the Fab One's grocery bills. It was worth it. To date, it's the only time the ex-Beatle/ex-Wing has ever played in the Sooner state, and it was magic.
Assistant features editor Matt Price:
I'd like to say something like Kanye West, but, I've mainly been to the Ford Center for basketball ... seeing David West hit a game-winning shot was probably the most fun I've had in the Ford Center.
Entertainment writer Brandy McDonnell:
I attended the first concert, the Eagles, back in 2002, and that was a highlight for me. I've never been a big Eagles fan, but really loved the show. It was a whole different experience hearing and seeing the band play live, and it kind of reaffirmed for me the power of live concerts.
Despite problems with the sound, some boring stretches and the designation of Garth Brooks as probably the only concert headliner in history to not actually perform a single song, I also really liked last year's Centennial Spectacular. I'm really big on cross-genre concerts, and you can't get much more cross-genre than putting Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, the Flaming Lips, All-American Rejects, Kelli O'Hara, et al, on one bill. Plus, that was my first time to see the Lips live, so obviously that was awesome.
The strangest event I've ever seen at the Ford Center was in 2002 when Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth brought separate bands, backdrops and sets for their split bill "Sam and Dave Show." I enjoyed Hagar's set, though I missed part of it, but Roth seemed to think it was still 1985, even climbing atop a box so he could do a weak and frankly scary imitation of his old jump-splits move. Not pretty.
2. What your take on the High School Musical phenomenon. HSM3 was the No. 1 movie at the box office.
"High School Musical 3" is the grand finale for this cast, allowing these fresh-faced young performers to move on to the infomercial, Dr. Drew and late-night Cinemax phase of their careers. Wait -- did I say that? Sorry, kids. Zac Efron probably has a future in film, Vanessa Hudgens might have a shot at a revamped lineup of Vanity/Apollonia 6 (ask your parents) while Corbin Bleu can look forward to being confused with a battered-chicken-stuffed-with-ham-and-cheese dish.
There's a whole lot of 9-year-old Disney Channel addicts in the target audience, and they're dragging parents along with them to the big-screen version of their favorite TV show, which runs up the box office score even more. But it's all good, clean, wholesome fun.
I'm actually pro-Zac Efron. I talked to him on the "Hairspray" junket and he seemed down-to-earth despite his fame.