Rays Concert Hit first Sour Note

 



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I was going to originally write this blog about 10 minutes after getting home from the Rays Sat. night game and post-game concert by 3 Doors down. But at the moment I was a bitterly upset and decided to instead watch Bad Boys 2 on DVD and try and learn via the video the aspect of “Woo Saaa”. You might remember the part in the movie where Will Smith turned Martin Lawrence’s life upside down again and he used this oriental figment of some scam artists rendition of meditation exercises to get rid of stress and anger in the movie.

But at that moment in my house, the dog was hiding and the kid did not enter the  television room. The voodoo vibe was all over the house………….Stay away or the monster might get you. I was snarling and growling like a pit bull on crank, but the movie did take my focus to another place and ease the situation. Now I am not a person who erupts at all in anger or issues spiteful words about things, but last night I had a fuse the size of a gnat. I have to apologize to Eric Weisberg, who is the Senior Manager of Customer Service for the Rays. I know I was spiting some fire from my seat towards him last night, and unfortunately he wandered by at the wrong time. Now I was all set to burn up his ears and the Internet with tales of woes and some personal gripes of my own, but thankful for everyone involved the music was too loud, and the bass was drowning out my voice to him.


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So I went around the stadium and did some investigating and seeking some answers to some disturbing things happening around me that night. But after a night sleeping, or trying to calm down and rest is more like it. When I did get up after 9 am, I went online and clicked on the St. Petersburg Times entertainment section and got their take on the entire concert, and it seemed to me that they must have been at another concert, or maybe stayed for 15 minutes of the show.

But then again, I have come to find that certain papers in this region have gone from the Fifth Ward fearless bravado I learned in Journalism classes in college in the early 1980’s to the subtle, “Can I print this?” questionable media membership today. Am I wrong to think they are now printing the “happy, Happy Joy Joy” editions too often in Tampa Bay? But that is just my opinion, or at least this lead into their story on the concert might tell you something:

Here is the beginning of the concert review posted in their entertainment section for May 31st Sunday edition:

” Listening to live music at Tropicana Field is like sticking your head in an aquarium while your next-door neighbor blares his radio at full volume.
I mean no offense to the Tampa Bay Rays when I say this, of course. Their postgame concert series is the bomb, for three reasons:
1. Baseball.
2. It’s free.
3. If you still need a third reason, you’re insane. “

And people, that was the lead into the  events story about the Trop’s concert. There were other things that were playing behind the scenes that got me into my tizzy in the first place. Now granted, I am not one of the “worthy” high-priced full Season Ticket holder who got a wrist band last night either, but that was for a logical reason. I was not in the pre-determined section(s) before the season to be granted them this year. But the people between the Rays Bullpen and the Visitor’s Bullpen area who had full season tickets did get their wristbands.

The wristband cut-off point was based on the estimations of the St. Petersburg Fire Marshall and the Rays to the total amount of people who might venture on down to the turf for a closer view of the concert. That is fine, understandable, and totally within logic and safety. Kudos for thinking of the fans safety and any emergency situations. I actually acknowledge that was a great idea to keep some of the pushing and shoving to a minimum that happened in 2008.  They could enter through two access points in the outfield and sprint to their spot among the masses on the turf in front of the stage.

What I found kind of counter productive was the fact this section was the area where the stage faced for the concert. The Rays basically let those sections come down and enjoy a up close and personal concert experience and opened their seat to General Admission seating for the concert. That is where the first problems seemed to crop up quick on Sat. night.


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I heard from four different Season Ticket holders who did not want to venture to the turf, but wanted to sit in their seats and were asked to move by other Rays fans. They had gotten up to go to the rest room or to get something to eat or drink since the vendors were no longer in the sections with beverages while the concert stage was being set up. They returned to find they had lost their seat and their stuff was moved without their consent from their seats.

All under the guise of “General Admission seating”. Now that is something that might have to be addressed on a individual basis with the Rays Fan Host in that section in the future, but you would think if you paid big dollars for your seat for the game, the event afterwards would also entitle you to stay in your seat and enjoy it too. This is a minor thing to fix, and I can bet it will be addressed before the next event in two weeks featuring Ludacris.

Another thing I brought up to two Rays third floor employees I saw early on Sunday was the discovery that someone had bought a large amount of the same color wristbands and were selling them in the Trop before and during the concert. Not only is that a bit upsetting, but it makes the safety precautions made by the team and the city of St. Petersburg seem a bit useless at the time.

I can attest to two people trying to sell me wristbands for only $5 to get onto the field. And another promised me he could get me them for future events. Now I might seem like I am trying to ruin it for other people by telling the team about this, but I feel it might put someone out there who might cause a problem, or even cause an injury and ruin it for everyone else. I know a few of the people working the Rays Security have also learned of this, and any counterfeit or illegal wristbands will be addressed within the next two weeks.

I mean I am not happy to sit in my section and listen to a concert where the bass was so pounding you could not even hear the lead singer sing a few of the songs. I did record a short portion of one of the song on my digital camera, which is the short clip posted at the beginning of  the blog tonight. It did record a bit better than it sounded at the time. But I did decide to try and see if my area was the only one with the sound problem last night. I eventually wandered over to the Home Plate Club and sat for a song and tried to get a good view of the stage, but the bands lighting system made it difficult to see them while they were performing.
 

I can tell you that the astronauts in the International Space Station could have seen the drummer in his high and mighty drum stand last night. The music also was reverbing all over the back walls of the Trop and made general announcements and voices over the microphone just run all over each syllable and rendered them mute to your ears.

I also decided to take a stroll up into the 200 and 300 sections of the upper decks of the Trop both towards the home plate regions of the stadium and got the same responses to the music. More bass than vocals were coming through, plus the reverb off the back wall in the 300 sections almost made the songs sound like gibberish than musical. But that is possible because of the general acoustics of the dome and not something based solely on this night’s concert. I have to be honest with you, I have never sat in the upper decks of the Trop and watched a game in my life. I might have to do that soon to understand some of the dynamics of sitting up there.


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As I was heading out of the stadium at 8:10 pm, which was a good time before the concert was over, I decided to go sit in section 147 behind the stage and see what it sounded like in that region of the stadium. I am so glad I was in Section 138 in front of the event after sitting back there for a spell. Not only did you get the reverbed music coming off the back wall, but it seemed a bit modulated by the time it got to you and was not enjoyable at all. But the idea of moving into the other sections vacated by the wristband army is a great idea since the acoustics last night were equal to a cave, or like the Times said, “An Aquarium.”

I was told that things were going to be under advisement from some reliable people within the Rays organization. I mean I could see a bit of hesitation when I came down before Sunday’s Kid Autograph session and spoke to them on the rails. I kind was looking for  future answers without upsetting the slim balance I have with the Rays. I mean I am not a trouble maker, but I do hear a few rumors and situations that most people never hear about during my short walks through the stadium.


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You know, as I am writing this I am feeling better already about the events planned for the rest of the year. I know the Rays were probably experimenting and have alternative solutions already in their minds as to ho
w to make it better in 2009. I love the band featured last night, and that might have played a big factor in my mood. But after some smiles and reassurances “off the record” that things were going to get better from numerous people within the third floor regime, I am positive things will only get better for the Saturday Concert series.

I hope so, I am looking forward to Pat Benatar, Daughtry and Big and Rich in the upcoming concerts. Hopefully in two weeks I am writing about the Ludacris concert, which will be very bass involved with glowing reviews and positive feedback.

I have faith in the Rays organization turning some screws and fixing some leaky pipes and this concert series getting better every time. But the best line of the day from a Rays employee might be the fact we are 9-0 now when over 30,000 fans are in the house for these concert series events. His comment had me laughing the rest of the day in my seat. “Maybe we should have 81 concerts next season.” I  like that idea, 81 wins at home would be an awesome feat. I would really love that much music too, but it would drive all of you upstairs nuts, and drive the stadium workers off the deep end. But it was a great thought!

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I bet the dome had a lot to do with the problems with the concert. If the speakers are not set up properly the music just echos and it is a nightmare! And too much base? (Okay – dating myself now!) I sat through a Go-Go’s concert once, in an enclosed stadium, and the base near us was so bad that it actually made me sick! I hope they get the sound system – and other problems – sorted out before the next concert.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

There is bass during a Go-Go’s concert?
I have seen them a few times, but once backstage and the other time right at the corner of the stage.
I have been deluged by Bass and shock waves from speakers when I was younger and understand totally what you are talking about there.
It sure helped I could not hear the boss for two days either lol.
The slope of the roof actually should have helped divert the sound because it was going towards the deeper part of the stadium, but they will get it done.
They are a pretty bright group up on that third floor.
If not, they know I am the eye in the stadium, with my ears to the concrete.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Sounds like organized chaos! I tip my cap to the Rays for trying new things to bring people to the Trop, and these concerts are a great way to do that. But they’re a work in progress, obviously. I would have been furious too. And yes, having the bass blare at you is not fun. It’s actually been known to cause heart problems! Glad you came out alive, Renegade. :)

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,
I guess the worst it did to me that night was raise the old blood pressure beyond the steam phase, but all was better. Wooo Saaaaa.
I am just glad I had some people in the organization who knew me and I could vent a bit still the next day.
WOO SAAA!
I did not see a lot of these situations or problems in 2008 becuase I was down right next to the bands on the railings, so maybe these were problems also in 2008, but I was unaware of the situations.
But everyone survived, and no one was arrested or hurt, which is the ultimate goal.
Fun for All.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Maybe they should consult the Marlins, who do the same free concert series at their stadium. I saw Lou Graham (Foreigner) and it sounded pretty good; no issues with my seat either. Then again, the dome is likely a nightmare to try to get good sound in. But the security should be fixable.

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

I disagree on the security.
It should be more enforced than ever knowing there is a fake wristband out there, They need to find the fakers and banish them from the stadium and issue a trespass warrant the same as if you stepped on the field.
The dome does make a huge difference, but they have had music concerts at the dome for years and I never heard it sound like that before.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I went to an NSync concert (yeah, I know, don’t judge) that was at the Pepsi Center, which is indoors. It was no bueno. I studied sound for a few months and can tell you that if things aren’t right in an indoor stadium, there is absolutely no blend. Hope things get worked out before the next concert!
Emily
http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

I do not know if I would be excited to see a boy band, but then again I am a guy. No, I would not be excited to see NSync, maybe the Beasty Boys!
I am getting more and more information that the band setup/speakers used that day was the bands, and they might not have set up in such a cavernous slanted roof building before.
We shall see next weekend when Ludacris hit the stage.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

True that things are not perfect, however it is idiots like you that cause free things like the Rays concert series to end. You and all the other complainers that you are to rally together will end something the franchise is doing for the fans for FREEEEEEEE!

If you expect high quality sound go to Ruth Eckerd Hall or the Ford Amphitheater and PAY for a ticket. If you wanted to get on the field you should have bought the $5 wrist band and not been so damn cheap!

I am now concerned about my safety at Rays games knowing that YOU are wondering around the entire stadium stiring up trouble.

If you believe that the opinions expressed on my blog are even taken half serious by the Rays, you are mistaken. But, like everyone else on the Internet, you opinions have merit, and that is why a comment like this is not erased or deleted.
People within the Rays know I do not mince words, and I am not afraid to say anything because it is my right to voice my objections.
I am am member of the Ruth Eckerd Hall ticket community and have seen a few awesome concerts there in the past year. But did you know that the Rays Concert series is partial presented by Brighthouse and Ruth Eckerd Hall? It was the same in 2008, but this year the moving of the stage towards the center caused the sound modulation to echo.
Did you know that if you are found with one of those wristband you will be asked to leave the field, and if you resist, then the Rays security will have someone in SPPD green chat with you.
You have more to worry about than me walking around the Trop. But if you want to make me a focal point, so be it.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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