Sabwafare is everywhere…….

Yeah, I know is been a while since I have written, but, even with this down economy and slow year for the industry, I have managed to stay pretty busy as of late (thank god)…..!!

When I last wrote, I was about to leave town for a few days to do some Stage Management and Monitors for the Incredibly talented Vanessa Williams……Friday, September 25th we were at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, NV and the following night, Saturday, September 26th, we were at The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park in Los Angeles……both shows went down without a hitch even though we were pressed for time due to a late set up in Primm and it being festival day with Kenny G and others in Los Angeles. Vanessa’s band is nothing short of amazing and of course Vanessa’s voice speaks for itself…….Working with Vanessa and her band and crew is nothing short of the best……Oh and my hotel room in Burbank That Saturday night was the definition of “living large”…….it could have been an episode of “Cribs”……..

On Sunday, September 27th, I returned home from L.A. via Southwest Airlines, then slept for a few hours and then went to the Mandalay Bay Events Center Arena for show #82 and the Final show of the U.S. Leg of “The Circus featuring Britney Spears”…….After the show we loaded it out for 3 1/2 hours and put most of it in Conex Containers to be shipped to Australia for the start of the tour dates down under………during the encore of the show, one-third of the circular video wall took a dump (first picture below) and I have also included a picture of Britney Singing Live on stage that I took at Front of House (second picture below)…….if you are a bit confused about the second picture………well…….just think about it a bit……you will catch on…….Oh, and also….the Meyer Milo Rig sounded like ass………

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Then after a few days off, on late Thursday night/Friday morning, October 2nd, I went down to the Hollywood Theatre at The MGM Grand here in Vegas at 1:30 AM to pick up all the Backline Gear from the week long run of Liza Minnelli for PRG (Production Resource Group). I arrived as I was told at 1:30 AM only to find out Liza was going long and it was only Intermission………Once Liza stopped playing just shy of 3AM, I packed up all the backline and loaded it out into the truck and went home…….slept for a few hours and then went to the airport and boarded a Continental Airlines flight to Houston, Texas……..

Monday, October 5th, I found myself back in Houston, and had Lunch with Kevin Rebtoy (one of the guys that got me started in the industry back in Houston, along with Famed Owner and long time Texas Talent Buyer Don Gomez, from the legendary Houston, Texas Showcase Theatre, Rockefeller’s Nightclub (picture below)……

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Don Gomez is one of my mentors, as during my days working at Rockefellers for many years, this man taught me most of everything I know about how the Music Industry Works and should work…….Many Thank’s Don……..It was Great to see you and find you doing well…….not much happens on a daily basis when working, when I do not think of you and all you taught me…….

Also Greg Pitzer joined us for the lunch….Greg was the Manager of Twenty Mondays (Spindletop Records), a great 90’s band out of Houston I used to mix FOH for back in those days (picture below from the 90’s)……We all ate good at the Famous Hickory Hollow BBQ place across the street from Rockefeller’s and reminisced about all the great times back in Houston…….Then later that night I went to the 20 year Twenty Mondays reunion show in North Houston and mixed the show……Originally they were called “Inside Out” when they formed in 1989 and that was the line up that performed at the reunion show……….these days they are all married with kids and different careers…….BUT…….after all these years gone by, the guys still played great and sounded great and put on a great show……..it was like they never stopped performing……amazing……

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Then Tuesday, and Wednesday, October 6th and 7th, I spent the day at my Folks house in Coldspring, TX (population 364) and relaxing and eating good food before bording another flight home to Vegas the following day out of Houston……….and of course, while I was relaxing in Texas, the phone rang from PRG (Production Resource Group), and I was offered a 7 day gig for big money that I had to turn down because it started that night and I was of course still in Texas………SIGH………..and of course as I was trying to get back home to Vegas, there was a security breach at The Houston Airport, so my flight left an hour late after they shut down the airport gates for about an hour……..Ho hum……below are pictures of the Killer backyard at my folks place in Texas……….on a side note……..the very large, Texas Mosquito’s, ate me alive……..

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Once home, in Vegas, I spet again for a day and the found myself at The Suncoast Showroom here in Vegas at The Suncoast Casino doing monitors on a Yamaha PM5D for Saturday and Sunday, October 10th and 11th for the Oldies Group “The Four Preps” (see the link below)……….they were very nice and easy to work with and the shows went down well until the second night when their multi tracks on the Mac Computer with the bass and strings on it, crashes for the middle part of the show………they ad lib’ed and did some acapella number and got through it……….

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So far this week (Wednesday and Thursday, October 14th and 15th) I did the load in and set up at The Mandalay Bay Events Center Arena for Justin Timberlake & Friends (50 Cent, Alicia Keys, TLC, and others)……..Justin is putting the show on as a benefit for the Shriner’s Childern’s Hospitals (pictures below)……..Clair Brothers, in addition to their line array that got flown for this gig, also draged out some old Clair Brothers S4 Cabinets for this one……its been nearly 20 years since I have seen (or used) those cabinets……..man on man those cabinets weigh………

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And with all that………I think gets us all current……….This weekend I am in Vegas doing more monitors on a PM5D for some local Vegas no name shlock act………sigh…….BUT, next week…….U2………..The rig is completely massive and the load in and set up starts tomorrow at Sam Boyd Stadium here in Vegas and will continue for 5 days until the show next Friday the 23rd of October and then the load out will take 3 days I understand………should be some work indeed…….

More soon everyone……….BLAKE