The Music Never Stops: What Putting on 10,000 Shows Has Taught Me About Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Magic

Hachette. Aug. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780306845185. $29. MUSIC
Concert promoters are seldom as famous as the events they produce, but Shapiro aims to correct this with an often-rambling story of how he promoted some of the biggest concerts and festivals of the past 25 years. Through an improbable series of events that began with making a Grateful Dead documentary while in college, Shapiro became the owner of Wetlands, a Manhattan music club, when he was only 23. He eventually used the experience he gained and the connections he made to develop the very successful Brooklyn Bowl clubs in Brooklyn, Las Vegas, and London, and New York’s Capitol Theatre. Shapiro provides endless anecdotes—many about the Grateful Dead and Phish—but the stories often gloss over any real substance, feeling more like name dropping. More interesting is the backstage access and endless minutia involved with running music venues and putting on large scale events like the Lockn’ Festival or 2008’s U2 3D film. Shapiro has certainly accomplished a great deal in his field, but what seems like a rough primer on how to become a concert promoter feels more like a very self-indulgent memoir.
VERDICT A diversion for completist Deadheads and fans of music festivals.
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