Park report; RIP Tony Wilson…

Category: Blog — @ 12:30 pm August 13, 2007

I dropped in on the Memorial Park concert yesterday at around 4 p.m. and already the storm clouds were beginning to form in the west. The brutal heat had been somewhat abated by the overcast skies, but it was still muggy and uncomfortable. On stage was Pomoroy, a band no better or worse than Plain White T’s; they just happened to have gone unnoticed with their bleatings. It was by far the loudest concert I’ve ever heard in the park — painfully loud, earplug loud. Maybe it was so loud because there were no warm bodies to muffle the noise. The place looked empty. I talked to a cop at the top of the hill, who estimated the crowd at just over 1,000 and at its zenith up to that point in the afternoon. He said they’d all been informed of the oncoming storm, and expected it to hit at around 6 p.m., but even then it looked like it could start raining at any moment. I rode back home and battened down the hatches. By 5:30 our house had lost power and we fumbled around in the dark until 2:30 in the morning before the lights came back on. Apparently after the initial storm passed, the show went on, or at least that’s what I assumed based on the muffled echoes of the band heard from my house at around 7 p.m. I figured they’d cancel the show, but I suppose the city was going to pay The T’s whether anyone was there to see them or not, so why not make them play anyway?

The moral to this story: Don’t host concerts in the park in the middle of August when the heat index is over 100. Why not have these concerts in early October or late spring when it’s cooler outside? There must be a reason…

Sad news from Europe: Tony Wilson, the father of Factory Records and the Hacienda in Manchester died of a heart attack Friday. Wilson was a visionary who signed such bands as Joy Division, Durutti Column, Section 25, A Certain Ratio, New Order and Happy Mondays. In some ways, Saddle Creek Records seems to be paralleling Factory Records, right down to the opening of Slowdown. A BBC report on Wilson, complete with interviews, is on YouTube here: Pt. 1 and Pt. 2.

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