December means that it is time for the radio station Holiday Concerts. On Friday, December 12th, 91X held their Wrex The Halls show at the Valley View Casino Center. It was a good show with a lineup of artists that ranged from Billy Idol to Alt-J. This year I not only shot the performances but also took a couple of shots of what goes on before and during the show to make it all run smoothly. The credit goes to the crew who managed the stage, getting 8 performers on and off on time and without a hitch.
The master list for the show. As you can see, not a lot of room for error. The crew needs to get the stage rotated and the band up and playing in about 5 minutes, and they did it flawlessly all night.
The ramp where everything comes in and goes out. You might recognize it as the spot where William met Penny in Almost Famous.This is the calm before the storm as the gear is all loaded in and ready to go.
Final check of the lights and sound before the doors open.
The rain held off for a while and those wanting to be up front waited patiently for the doors to open.
Last security briefing for the folks in the pit. The stage is set to go.
Those who wanted to be on the floor get their tickets checked and head down.
No running… but a fast walk is ok. If you want to be up close, you need to get in early. Then you can just sit and relax in your spot.
It was a really well behaved crowd waiting for the show to start. They had about an hour wait, not too bad. (Then again, I have no idea how long they waited outside)
The key to running this show on time is the incredible organization of the local crew. Each band has a full setup of stuff that needs to be in position on the stage in the right spot at the right time. Even with a rotating stage, the crew needs to pull the previous band gear, load the next band gear all while another band is performing.
The Cage the Elephant gear is set up for their show closing set.
Each drum set needs to be built on its own riser, then lifted to the back of the stage and put in place before their set. It gets easier as the night goes on and the gear from the bands that have already performed is loaded out.
The bottom of the ramp is not a place for bystanders. Keeping track of 8 different performers gear is no easy task since a lot of the road cases look the same. Except for the purple cases of Steve Stevens.
There were some mementos of the night signed by all (or most) of the artists.
As the night wore on, the amount of gear backstage diminished.
This is backstage. Not as glamorous as people expect.
With Alt-J finished and Cage the Elephant performing, the backstage is finally clearing out. Then the riggers go to work in dismantling the stage and lighting truss. But this is where might night ended.
All photos shot with a Nikon D750 and Nikon D4 with 24-70mm f/2.8.