14 Jan The Show Must Go On
Producing live entertainment shows especially in non-traditional venues lends itself to interesting tales and one of the most amazing stories happened a little over a year ago in Dallas, TX. Traditionally one of “must-attend” events of the season was scheduled for December 7 last year when Mother Nature intervened. Check out the local weather forecast: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/24131454/icy-friday-weekend-expected-for-north-west-texas
Styx and Journey were scheduled to perform in a tent in the backyard at our client’s holiday party. We flew in on Southwest to Love Field only to find out we were the last flight in to either airport on Friday the 6th. Our rental car slid all over the road on the way to the venue with an inch of ice coating the roadways (and everything else). The city was shut down and most of North Dallas was without power. Styx had a gig in Mississippi on the 6th and were planning on busing overnight after their show. Journey was in New York and their flights were cancelled. Numerous phone calls ensued whether or not the show would go on and as our client said determinedly, “we are having a party tomorrow night no matter who shows up”.
Putting two acts of this size on a stage in a tent in a backyard is a large undertaking; doing it with an inch of ice on everything, temperatures in the teens and no power is ridiculous. An army of labor hands chipped away the ice, countless portable heaters were brought in, production teams filled in items that could not be shipped (kudos to Clarke at Gemini in Dallas). We went to bed very late on Friday wondering what was going to happen the next day.
We woke to more freezing temperatures and the Styx bus and semi parked at the venue. That was nothing less than heroic driving by those drivers as they veered around hundreds of stranded cars on the highways of north Texas. At least we had one band in town and ready. Journey’s crew, stranded in New York, flew to Houston and rented buses and pulled in shortly after. The band was still in New York waiting for the word the show would be cancelled. No way. As the production teams worked tirelessly (kudos to Mike Scarfe of MHA Audio) through chattering teeth to get everything on stage ready, we dealt with Journey trying to fly into Love Field on a private jet. The airport was open long enough for them to arrive and be escorted by the police directly to the back of the stage.
Styx opened and put on an amazing show to be followed by Journey who rocked the house. Only half the expected guests made it through the ice but those who were there had a night to remember. See the attached article from the Dallas Morning News the following day: http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/columnists/alan-peppard/20131208-journey-and-styx-headline-the-blue-baroness-holiday-party.ece
As we stood in line to fly home on Sunday December 9 we overheard a number of passengers described sleeping for two days at DFW airport and just wanting to get home. Amazing what they missed while they slept at the airport.