Big Star, Big Undertaking, Big Nice Factor

terry charles | behind the stage | june 2015

There's one thing safe to say. Carrie Underwood owns Green Bay! Well, at least she really owns it when she comes to town and so far that's been three times to the Resch Center and three times a sell-out! She is as much a sure thing for ticket sales as any artist we've had play here in the past decade. She really outdid herself during her last concert here on May 5.

The production was a concert in the round so to speak. The stage took up a large portion of the floor and ran almost the entire length of the floor. That really meant everyone in the 9,000 plus crowd felt a part of the action. There were no “nosebleed” seats. At some point the action was near wherever you were sitting…or standing. The entire floor was general admission standing.

The set-up was major and that meant we had to bring in a large number of area stagehands. In this case, we needed about 130 people to help load-in and load-out the show. That is substantially more than what is needed for an average show. It took nearly 10 hours to build the show and only about 4 hours to dismantle it, be out of the building and on to the next stop! It was anything but an average show for us. The stage featured three main areas with walkways in between. In the photo you can see the runway behind Underwood. This photo was shot from the southern end of the Resch Center looking north.

The platforms lowered into an under-stage dressing area where Carrie Underwood changed her outfit numerous times. There was a center-hung video board that fans could choose to watch when she turned her back. It also offered a light show and sound equipment. All of that stuff travels with the show and it travels in nearly 20 semi-tractor trailers! It certainly was one of the largest set-ups we've had in some time. Our crew says the stage was simply amazing and the center area was able to rise incredibly high.

Sometimes I have the opportunity to meet artists as we usually present a gift from the building. On this night, I was able to present the gift to Carrie Underwood along with a co-worker. We gave her a Green Bay Gamblers jersey with her name on the back and also a small child's size jersey for her young son. We figured she gets a ton of hockey stuff because her husband is a player for the NHL's Nashville Predators.

I can say she genuinely seemed pleased to get the gift and couldn't have been nicer. I've met enough artists over the years to know when they're going through the motions during a meet & greet while exchanging pleasantries. But I have to say Carrie was especially engaging with us and took the time to chat. Everything about this tour was first class. She had a gentleman traveling with the tour who I dealt with for photo passes who took a great deal of time to decorate the meet & greet area as well as her dressing room.

It was a special night to be bursting at the seams with 9,000 plus people in the building for an artist they were in awe of. I think it's a safe bet to say she'll sell out the building again if we're lucky enough to get her in the next few years!


Terry Charles is public relations manager for Green Bay-based PMI Entertainment Group. He's all about media relations, publicity and social media for the Resch Center Complex, Meyer Theatre, Green Bay Gamblers Hockey and other events produced by PMI. When not at work, please don't hit him with your car as he runs and bikes around the Green Bay area. You can follow him on Twitter at @TCCharles.

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