(pics at bottom)
-Stinking Lizaveta (Philly Math Rock)
-Aurora (Local Math Metal)
-Behind Enemy Lines (x-Aus Rotten)
-Disinfectant (now-deceased local band)
*Something about this show was not meant to be, or perhaps it was meant as a test. The first show I ever put on in NWPA, it was something I was really excited about. Stinking Liz is one of my favorite bands and to share that with a bunch of people that never heard of them all at once was something I was really looking forward to. I had found what seemed like the perfect venue- the "Barrow Civic Theatre"- it was inexpensive, just the right size, easy to find, AND willing to have concerts there. My good friend came out from philly to visit for a while and to help out with the show- it couldn't have looked like a better time. It soon became the exact opposite.
Less than a week before the show went down, I got a call from Dave, the singer from "Behind Enemy Lines" and he proceeded to tell me that their bassist had to split town ASAP because he had lost his job for the last time in Pittsburgh and needed to go back to his home area (Conneticut I think) to find work/pay off old debts. They were broken up and would not be playing the show.
That sucked. I knew a lot of the kids were coming to see primarily that band. But, things do happen, if people had a problem with it, that's their own lack of understanding. This was a mosquito bite compared to the upcoming proverbial car crash. Not 3 days later, I got a call from the manager of the venue. He proceeds to tell me that the show can no longer go on at his building because his board of directors feared that the crowd of punk rockers would destroy and damage the building. We went back and forth for a couple days, I looked so far as to what legal options I had- there was a rental contract involved- but I had failed to get a copy of the contract nor did I have any sort of funds to cover a lawyer. That bastard walked all over me and he knew full well that I would not have been able to do anything about it. The show almost did not happen. I called off work, skipped classes, and missed sleep to exhaust every option. Finally, the freaking MORNING OF the show, I found something definite at a nearby hall a few miles away. The only bad thing was that it cost 275$ more than the original venue. It didn't matter, the show went on.
Not only did more than enough people still show up (about 80) that all expenses would have been covered as per the original set-up, but I later found out that there was another 25 or so people that couldn't get to the new venue! The show went really well- amazingly, no one threw any chairs thru windows, no cars were razed with demonic fire, and nobody was violently murdered. Imagine that- a punk show where the attendants are level headed people that respect the venue.
Unfortunately, I lost 200$ of my own money because of the Barrow manager's antics, but it actually worked out in the end. Because the show went so well, and the kids were so cool that came out to it, we were able to negotiate a partnership with the fire department to rent out their hall for 100$/night (under a third of it's original price) in return for throwing a few benefit concerts for them annually. So far it has been working out great and hopefully will continue to do so.