terry charles | behind the stage | nov. 2016
It's not rare in our business to have events on back-to-back nights. In fact at the Resch Center last month we had concerts two nights in a row, a Gamblers hockey game on a Saturday and then the Bart Starr Plaza Tailgate Party on Sunday. That's four days in a row! Having back-to-back concert nights doesn't happen a lot. During this stretch we had the “I Love The 90s Tour” on a Thursday night, which was close to being sold out and then Dierks Bentley on Friday night, which was sold out!
The interesting thing about these two concerts was they were exact opposites. Not only from a genre standpoint, but everything else in between and behind the scenes too! First off, the 90s concert was a hoot and everyone had a complete blast. We saw a lot of women who came in groups who were out to have a good time and leave the kids and husbands behind. It's safe to say the artists on stage have their best days behind them as far as stardom but they were still a big attraction. Many of the half dozen or so performers at some point in their set invited fans up on the stage. That always makes a venue nervous. Perhaps the biggest hit of the night was Salt-N Pepa. The ladies really rocked it.
The following night featured hot country star Dierks Bentley who sold the place out and put on a heck of a show even daring to do his version of crowd-surfing. The difference in the two nights was how buttoned up one tour was and the other being much more loose. Any guesses as to which one was a big more footloose and fancy-free? Yeah, it was the 90s show.
When I escort photographers and media into a show to get photos or video at the beginning of the set, I usually have a specific spot to take them to and they get perhaps the first three songs of each artist to take photos. In this case I had specific instructions from the tour publicist but when tour officials got on site they said they didn't care about the guidelines I was told of and said the photographers could go wherever they wanted, whenever the wanted and for as long as they wanted. That has never happened to me before. Even the photographers said they felt weird having so much freedom.
Things were back to normal the following night for the Bentley concert as photographers were given the customary first three songs to shoot. The tour wanted to make sure I would be escorting them in and out of the venue. That's pretty standard fare. The tour overall was more buttoned up as far as what it wanted security to do and when – especially when Dierks was to make his way from main stage back to stage B at the back of the arena where he would play to fans in the seats.
The interesting part about this job and this industry is you never know what you're going to get until tours get in the building. Many things are cut and dried before the tour gets here. Other times we think things are all set and then the tour decides something different. We have to be ready to adapt on the spot. So we had two concerts that were very different in both the type of music offered and also in how they ran their tour and interacted with the crowd. It was pretty much a full house both nights where a lot of people went home happy. For me? I could have gone home early for the 90s show because the media didn't need me to hold their hand. But who wouldn't want to catch at a glimpse of Salt-N-Pepa or Vanilla Ice?
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.