As a kid, Jordan Burger used to sing with all the men in his family including his grandfather, uncle and dad. Jordan joined the ranks by the time he was in his school, singing and playing the cello. His older brother Rob, who has worked with artists like Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams, Laurie Anderson and Norah Jones, is a multi-instrumentalist arranger and composer with perfect pitch.
“He was the quintessential guy with the record collection I’d sift through as a kid, whether it was Ozzy Osbourne or the Beach Boys,” Burger said.
Rob was the catalyst for his younger brother’s love of music and took him to countless concerts when they were teenagers. In college, Jordan harnessed that enthusiasm into booking bands at Emory University in Atlanta.
“In college I was the social chair, and I would book bands from Mike Luba (co-founding partner of Madison House),” Burger told Amplify. “I always loved the live music aspect of the business and I admired and wanted to become guys I’d read about like Chip Hooper, Scott Clayton, Cass Scripps, Jonathan Levine and Marc Geiger. So upon graduating, without having that ‘mailroom gig,’ which to me was just a myth you read about in David Geffen and Ian Copeland bios, I started booking my friends Evan and Jaron.”
Burger interned for Erik Olesen (now head of radio at Crush), then for Top 40 at Elektra and Atlantic, then independent promoter Wallace Barr and East Coast Entertainment Atlanta’s Mark Letson. By 1998, Burger moved to New York where he worked for Pinnacle working with Scott Sokol and John Dittmar, booking bands like Oasis, Kid Rock, and Rob Zombie.
After a brief moment running his own agency, Burger joined The Agency Group where he spent 10 years working with the industry’s best including Steve Martin, Steve Herman, Jeremy Holgersen, and Ken Fermaglich. Burger joined Fleming Artists for six years with Adam Bauer. In 2012 he moved to Nashville and in 2016 began to work with Jesse Aratow and Nadia Prescher at Madison House as an agent.
“I’m in love with Nashville,” Burger said. “Ultimately I love live music. My family has to come first, sometimes, but I live for the live concert experience all of my every day.”
Amplify tried to chat with Jordan about just five of his favorite shows, but he couldn’t help but drop a few extras into the mix including an intimate Justin Timberlake gig, Prince at Madison Square Garden, and Squeeze at Radio City Music Hall. Still, the series is called Five Shows so Burger graciously whittled the list down to the best of the best.
Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Ritz in New York
Oct. 27, 1989
My older brother Rob is a popular arranger, composer and multi-instrumentalist and my greatest early musical influence. Rob would take me on the train to Nassau Coliseum to see bands like Genesis & KISS. And we would go to NYC to places like Wetlands and Tramps, where I saw many acts including Living Colour, and Stevie Ray Vaughn sat in with the band. My earliest favorite concert was seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Ritz in 1989. That was a few years after the Red Hot Chili Peppers released “Uplift Mofo Party Plan” and the year they released “Mother’s Milk.” The show was packed and loud and my first really incredible live sweaty, in the pit, rock n roll experience.
H.O.R.D.E. Tour at Jones Beach Theater in Long Island
July 12, 1992
It was the summer after my Freshman year in college. I went with my brother to the Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere (H.O.R.D.E.) tour at Jones Beach in Long Island and I remember it being a really foggy day. The lineup that day was one stage that had Widespread Panic, Phish, Spin Doctors, Col. Bruce and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Blues Traveler, and members of the Allman Brothers! I think the lineup says it all. With the beach as the backdrop to the stage, my memories of the day are a little bit hazy, but I remember I saw the show of a lifetime.
The Cat Empire at Summerstage in Central Park, N.Y.
July 23, 2007
My Morning Jacket at Bonnaroo
Foo Fighters at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala.
May 20-22, 2011