Rays Concert Hit first Sour Note
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!