A Disappointing Concert
Jerry Lucky Commentary February 2014
Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2014 All Rights Reserved
It was with great delight that I learned of a Transatlantic concert appearance in Everett, Washington just north of Seattle. I asked my daughter if she wanted come and she gladly agreed. She enjoys a good prog concert. I never really anticipated ever having the opportunity to see Transatlantic in concert, they seemed like one of those “never to be seen” bands, so as I say I was very excited about the opportunity. I held off buying my tickets as long as I could. The concert was set for February 2nd at 6pm so I ordered my tickets on January 3rd. They were priced slightly steeper than I expected at $75 each but the venue, a small intimate theatre, seemed to be the perfect setting for such a dynamic band. In addition with a 6pm start time it meant I could drive there and be back home that same evening. That’s the beauty of living so close to the border. So far so good…the excitement was starting to build.
So the day of the event arrives and my daughter and I pile into the car and make the one and a half hour drive to the Everett theatre and get there in good time. With a 6pm start time we had just enough time to make one stop however the store had closed early on account of the Superbowl. With the Seattle Seahawks playing that was understandable. So we arrived at the theatre a little early only to discover from some fans sitting outside that they’d moved the start time of the concert to 8pm, without telling anyone. Someone in the small crowd suggested it might have to do with avoiding a conflict with the Superbowl. The first thought that struck me was that both these events had been scheduled for months and you would have thought the promoters would have known about the Superbowl. A bit of lame excuse but what could I do.
So my daughter and I decided to go kill some time at a restaurant, watch the game and have a bite to eat. We made it back to the theatre around 7pm in anticipation of the 8pm start time. We then learned that the concert had been moved back again! This time to 9pm, with a special meet and greet taking place at 8pm. Well, now everything is closed, there’s nowhere to go. The only thing we could do, along with the one-hundred others gathered was stand there. You know what it’s like when you are so excited about seeing or doing something and then things start happening that strip away the layers of enjoyment? Well I’m starting to fight a growing sense of disappointment.
It’s always troubling when there is little communication provided around delays. We’ve all been there, right? So it was this night. The start time of the concert has gone from 6pm, to 8pm and now to 9pm. Every-so-often you’d see someone scurrying around, looking official, but nowhere was there any sense of urgency or consideration for all of us waiting, and waiting. Thanking people for their patience is one thing when there is a legitimate reason. Here, there is no explanation given. I’m forced to think about recent concerts where the diva-like pop superstars kept the fans waiting 30 or 40 minutes and the uproar that caused with fans and here I am standing outside a theatre for 3 hours.
So now the meet and greet folks are ushered into the theatre lobby to get their “merch” and signatures. We can hear the sound check going on. It’s after 8pm. We’re told as long as we don’t peek in the theatre we can all go and wait inside the theatre lobby so we proceed to file in and fill up that space. Actually the real reason for moving us inside was that security told them to do this because they had to clean the mall area where we had been congregating.
At last the three hours has gone and it’s just a few minutes before 9 and we are sitting in our seats waiting for the show to start. Once more I see stage technicians scurrying about, placing water bottles here and there, turning switches on and off etc., and I’m thinking shouldn’t this have been done hours ago? Slowly the minutes tick by and I’m starting to lose faith in the 9pm start time. …9:05…nothing yet…9:15…still nothing…9:23…the promoter gets up and proceeds to talk for about 5-minutes…the suggestion is made that the wait will be worth it…which makes me wonder will the band play better now that they’ve made us wait? Will they play longer now that they’ve made us wait? Will they play more enthusiastically at 9:30 than they would have had they taken the stage at 6pm as promised. All to which I say, doubtful. The band finally takes the stage just after 9:30. By this time I am so angry and frustrated, this Transatlantic concert has become THE MOST DISSAPOINTING concert event of my life. Seriously.
Over the 40 plus years of my broadcasting career I have been involved with either promoting or attending hundreds of concert events and never has one left me feeling so disappointed. I really like Transatlantic. I gushed over the Whirlwind. I respect and admire the members of Transatlantic. They are in my view the best modern Progressive Rock has to offer. But on this night, the band was not on their game. The sound was muddy with far too much bass, the lights were atrocious leaving the band dimly lit, the performance lacking in precision and at times downright sloppy. The whole event was disappointing. And to top it off because of the late start I was forced to leave after 3 songs. Thanks for nothing. There’s two $75 dollar tickets wasted.
Readers of this website will know I hate to take an overly critical view of things. Life is too short to be so cynical, but on this night in Everett a part of my musical soul was robbed. At least that’s what I’m thinking.