My band orange is in played at the Aeros game last night. We attempted to do this back in January but the game was cancelled due to the opposing team getting snowed in up in Detroit. This time, it went off without a hitch and it was one helluva experience from load in to load out.
The announced attendance was 7824. That would easily equal the largest crowd I’ve ever played for. I’ve probably played in front of 1500-2000 at the most previously, so this was pretty cool even if they weren’t there just to see music.
We loaded into the Toyota Center at around 1:15pm. The Rockets were just breaking from practice and driving out of the building as we were driving in. I saw Mike James, Dikembe Mutumbo, Moochie Norris and David Wesley all driving out separately. I yelled at a couple of them and they were all smiles.
Once we got down to the loading dock, I saw Yao Ming walking by. I had my camera with me, but we had to load in and I didn’t want to be the dorky fan bugging them for pictures right after practice anyway.
We got most of our stuff up by the elevator and Tracy McGrady walks by. I have to say something. So, it goes like this…
Me: Hey, man, how’s it going?
T-Mac: Great, man. How are you doing?
Me: Great, thanks!
Me: Hey, kick the Nuggets ass tomorrow night!
T-Mac: (smiling/laughing) Oh, definitely, definitely.
Then, he got in the back seat of this killer ride that looked like a cross between a Mercedes and a Bentley and headed out. Pretty good start.
We got loaded in upstairs and began to set up. Everything was going about like last time except the building was much busier than in January. Another good sign.
We got a sound check and took off a little after 4pm to change clothes, etc. George and I went back to my house and made a quick turnaround back to the Toyota Center. When we got back, we had probably 20 minutes before playing while the crowd was filing in.
We got started and played pretty damn well for 25 minutes. By the end, the crowd was clapping nicely for us and we were up on the jumbotron.
We watched the first period and got ready to perform in between periods. There were two choirs before us. They were fine but dragged on so long that we were afraid we wouldn’t get our songs in. We managed to get through the first song and all but about 25 seconds of the second song before they cut us off. Bummer.
We hung out through the second period and did manage to get through both songs the second time. The crowd gave us a very nice reception.
It was a very fun gig standing up there with the spotlight and being played on the jumbotron. It didn’t hurt that the Aeros kicked ass and clinched a playoff birth with the win.
The folks at the Aeros were super helpful as well.
We loaded out and I went with Amy, her fiance and my good buddy Leland to Mai’s on Milam for some late night Vietnamese food. Mmmm…vegetarian spring rolls.
All in all, a very cool gig and, fortunately this time around, completely successful.