Tuesday, August 11, 2009

‘How Does It Feel?’ Dylan & Co. respond: ‘Too hot’

Note: This column appears in the 8/13 issue of The Glendale Star and the 8/14 issue of the Peoria Times

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you are Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and the artist formerly known as John Cougar Mellencamp. You are a combined 712 years old, but you are still jamming.

You want to bring your brand of folksy-country-Americana music to the Valley, but you are not sure when, or where. So you consult your concert promoter, Jam Productions, who are, coincidentally, the same promotions company aligned with the Chicago White Sox. In turn, you agree to be the first musical act at Camelback Ranch, an outdoor venue and the spring training home of the White Sox and Dodgers.

The date you choose is August 11th. At 5:30 pm. What could go wrong?

If you are indeed, and not hypothetically, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp, or one of the thousands of fans who bought tickets to see the show, what went wrong was that the show was canceled. Due to the heat.

Considering that word of the cancellation came just days before the show was scheduled, it seemed as though Jam Productions and virtually everyone involved was surprised that temperatures were expected to, according to the press release, “soar to 110 degrees” on Tuesday. For anyone familiar with Valley weather, 110 degrees is pretty much autumn, or, at the very least, standard as it pertains to mid-August.

Nevertheless, outdoor concerts do indeed take place here in the summertime. However, they typically start after sundown, and not when the sun is at its absolute peak of hotness. It’s uncertain if the Jonas Brothers could survive a 5:30 pm start in mid-August in Glendale, much less three men most famous for a collective diet of whiskey, marijuana, and now Ensure.

Every fan that purchased tickets will be refunded, and an additional show scheduled for the following day in Las Vegas –- "What? It’s hot there, too?!" said Jam Productions -– was also canceled. According to Jam Productions, the impending heat was a risk “too great for all involved.” But the obvious question remains: Then why the heck did you schedule the show for 5:30 pm in mid-August? This is, of course, reminiscent of the time Jam Productions scheduled a December 25th Hootie & the Blowfish show in the North Pole, but had to cancel two days beforehand, claiming: “We had no idea it was Jesus’ birthday.”

For an event that was supposed to bring money, fans, and attention to one of the city’s newest facilities, this is just another black eye for the city of Glendale. To add insult to injury, I imagine Dylan will perform nightly at the new Tohono O’oodham casino in 2011, after singing the national anthem at the first Ontario Coyotes game.

When asked to comment on the cancellation, Bob Dylan muttered something incoherent, Willie Nelson fell asleep mid-sentence, and John Mellencamp just kept repeatedly singing, “”This is oooouuuurrrr country…”

Man, that show would have been awesome. I am sweating just thinking about it.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Let's not be too harsh on Jam Production for scheduling the Glendale show at 5:30 PM on August 11th. According to Weather.com - a super-secret website that the folks at Jam Productions certainly don't have easy access to - the average temperature for August 11th in Glendale is only 103. Who'd have thought the day's high temperature could vary as much as 7 degrees above the daily average? Just a perfect storm of events, I tell you!