After a busy day testing at the warehouse, Keith, Charlotte, and I met up with Pat (sans overalls, a first) and his wife Marsha in front of the Hard Rock at Fourth Street Live.
Pat had a friend who was competing for front row seats and backstage passes to a Stones concert. The competition was put on by a radio station and the goal was to do the most outrageous thing you could think of on stage to a Stones song. Pat’s friend Tim, a police officer, had called in and offered to dress like Keith Richards and get shot with a Taser gun for five seconds while they played “Start Me Up”. Based on that offer, he became one of the five contestants. We were introduced to Tim. He had the hots for Charlotte’s accent.
Soon enough the MC took the stage and introduced the other contestants; a guy who dressed as Raggedy Andy and would play “Paint It Black” on the guitar while tap dancing, an older lady who dressed in her high-school cheerleader uniform and twirled a flaming baton, and a guy who would eat a bunch of banana peppers dressed in his wife’s lingerie. I don’t mean to disparage the other folks’ fine performances, but Tim won hands down. It was legitimately frightening when the MC shot him and his whole body went stiff. The security guys standing by helped him fall forward gracefully, and then he lay on the ground motionless. For a moment I thought he might actually be dead, but after a while he got back up and the crowd went absolutely wild.
After that an opening act came on that I don’t know. They rocked adequately. And then after a long wait, the headliners for the night came on… 38 Special! Yes, the amazing 38 special, the southern rocking band from the late 70′s / early 80′s came out to rock Louisville tonight. The atmosphere was electric, we screamed ourselves hoarse, and they ripped onto stage with a pumping rendition of “Rockin’ Into the Night”.
About 30 seconds into the song, however, it started raining heavily. Now Fourth Street Live is covered, but it is open air, and there was enough crosswind that we were getting totally soaked, and so was the band. In the middle of the song the keyboard player grabbed his keyboard and ran off stage. Pansy. But the rest of the band stayed on and rocked until the tune was done, even though it was a little scary watching the downpour go right through their lighting rig. I respected that. Then they all ran off stage too. Roadies came out and threw tarps over everything, and we began to wait. And wait. And wait. The rain died down and it was pretty dry for more than an hour. During this time Keith and I argued with Charlotte about whether American bands or British bands were more lilly assed. Charlotte maintained that in the UK bands play in the rain all the time. I fully expected 38 Special to come back out and prove her wrong. I mean, come on, the band is named after a type of ammunition! Are they really going to be dissuaded by a little rain?
Nearly two hours later we learned the answer: yes. The MC announced that due to “technical difficulties” they wouldn’t be returning to stage. I guess they really did line up with their namesake, described by Wikipedia thusly: “by modern standards, the .38 Special fires a medium sized bullet at rather low speeds”. Not too impressive sounding, but whatcha gonna do?
We went in and had dinner at the Hard Rock, then walked through the a raging thunderstorm, one of the heaviest I’ve seen in a long time. We were a couple of drowned rats by the time we got back to our cars. But at least we weren’t duds.