Each show has its own problems and and opportunities. This Wilson Concert Series brought 3 different genres and 3 different types of management. Cartel began our Series with the easiest going people I have ever met. Their manager Chuck Salmon directed where instruments should go and an 2 hours until show time they proved their calm personalities in their request for dinner. Chuck comes up to me and says “I think we are just going to walk to Bdubbs”. Seriously? I know it is not far but thats what we have runners for. They had no worries walking over on the fair September day. The sun set, they returned and the opener got on stage ready to begin the semester for Center Stage. The runners got their work out for our next concert though.
B.o.B brought 15 people and 2 tour buses. One of the buses had to stay across campus so our 1 JMU vehicle was not going to cut it. I donated my car to the event for the evening. Our runners took his entourage of dancers, back up singers, a drummer and 2 guitarists back and forth from sound checks to dinner buy outs and then finally to the show time. This show was nothing you would expect. Their management remained just as calm joking around with everyone but confident in their roles. The sound engineer walks back through the 1300 people to the sound board. The dancers, background singers and musicians wait backstage, B.o.B ending the group ready to get on stage and blow us away.
Merely a month and a week later Sara Bareilles is standing where B.o.B stood. Her management was extremely involved throughout the whole advertising and marketing time plan. We knew that this show was going to be different than the rest with that fact.
They smoothly unpacked their trailer and set up the stage, putting her purple piano center stage. Clearly they were experienced in the day of show plan. Trey Smith, her manager, briefed us before the show passing out the silks that would allow us to enter backstage.
They had the image from Shel Silversteens’ Falling Up on the red pass, adding character to a normal aspect of a show.Her before show ritual was playing Hall & Oates “You Make My Dreams Come True”t o pumped them up. The five of them stomped along with the beat getting ready to run out onto the stage. The song ends and they run out… starting the last show in Wilson for the year.