Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rained Out

Last night, about five songs into our set at the end of a ribfest in Des Moines, the deluge began, and we had to cut the show short.

It was the kind of storm that kept our tour manager watching weather.com for tornado warnings. He knew we probably couldn't do the full 90 minutes, and we were begged to heed his request to stop, "only if I really have to do it." The tour manager actually tried to stop us before the fifth song, but he couldn't get the band's attention.

By the time the song was about halfway finished, tarps were coming out over amps, guitars were being dried and stowed, puddles were forming under the Leslie speaker cabinet. I spent the last minute and a half of the song with an opaque tarp over me and the B-3 and piano. Another tarp fell between the Leslie and the microphones, so the song was finished on piano only.

I made a mad dash to the bus where I stayed and watched marble-sized hailstones pound the rear view mirrors for a couple hours. I sat in my wet clothes in the cryogenically cold front bus lounge. The rest of the band milled around, drying off and awaiting word on the rest of the show.

We were cut off mid-rock-show, and sometimes you just don't know what to do with yourself and your hands and your energy when that happens. Couldn't go outside the bus, didn't want to jump into my bunk and sleep, no desire to eat or drink the rest of the old coffee over ice.

The promoter decided, at ten o'clock, that the show was cancelled. The rain relented somewhat, and I came back to the stage to see how the gear fared. Everything got water on it. Our crew members were methodically going through all their stations, drying surfaces and trying to determine how much rain everything took on. It was going to be a long wet night for them all.

My guitar tech said that the Vox AC30 got very wet, but I turned most of my attention to the keyboards. Even the towels I used weren't very dry. Our stage manager and our percussionist peeled back the tarp, carefully trying to guide the pools of rainwater to the side of the stage. I did my best to get every key on both instruments, even as the stagehands announced that they "were ready to pack (the piano) up, when I was good and satisfied." I thanked them as I dried. "Good luck turning it on tomorrow!" one of them added brightly. I thanked him again and glumly finished up.

By the end of the evening, the rain had ended, leaving drenched gear wiped down clean and packed away, in anticipation of today's revelations. The equipment is getting a good airing out on the stage in Waukesha before anything gets plugged in or turned on. Hopefully, all will be well when that happens.

3 comments:

Shakespere said...

Hi. I enjoyed your blog. It is very original and fun.

roscoe said...

Hope your gear dried out ok Peter.

Tim Armstrong said...

The worst rainstorm I ever got drenched by happened right before a scheduled Hootie and the Blowfish show at Red Rocks back around ten years ago (I forget what year). No show, the torrential rain was almost Biblical (I kept expecting to see the Ark drift by...).

Still haven't caught that band live!

Cheers, Tim