The Madison Square Garden Curse

I can't quite explain it, and I don't think I will ever be able to. Every time I see a concert at Madison Square Garden, I get sick. Every. Time.

Strange as it may seem, I've only seen four shows at MSG: Elton John in 2001,  Billy Joel/Elton John in 2002, Paul McCartney in 2002, and now Billy Joel on Monday. Four shows over 13 years. And even stranger as it may seem, for every show, in every year, I get sick. No exceptions. Now, what does sick mean? Well, it depends. Usually it means sinus pressure and congestion. Maybe also a sore throat, and probably needing to pack my pockets with tissues for the night. It's not exactly the makings of a good time.

The worst I can remember was after Billy Joel/Elton John in 2002. I was 17, and the show got out so late that my friend had to wait in Grand Central for the last train back to Poughkeepsie. And we both felt awful. So there we were, sitting on the steps in the station, waiting for that 1AM train, feeling awful. Did we have to change trains at Croton-Harmon? Oh, you bet. We didn't get to bed until well after 3AM.

Now, this past Monday was similar. Saturday night I could feel that my throat and sinuses were dry, and knew that singing 45 songs over 3 hours wasn't going to do me any favors. And it didn't. So I woke up on Sunday after a very restless night with a lot of congestion and sinus pain, and I thankfully made it through the entire Super Bowl without passing out (but honestly I would've been better off falling asleep!). But the pressure and congestion continued through Monday, through the concert, through yesterday, and into today - day 4. And on top of that, waiting for the S to Grand Central after the show I began to feel nauseous with an upset stomach, and I spent the majority of the train ride home leaning forward with my head against the seat in front of me. Not the best way to commute after midnight.

So why does this happen? Is it a psychosomatic reaction to seeing a show at the world's most famous arena? I don't know, because I went to a couple basketball events there prior to 2001 and didn't get sick then. Is it just a massive, crazy coincidence? Again, I don't know. But if you're reading this, why don't you get tickets to one of Billy's upcoming shows there so we can do an experiment?

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ