Karl's Corner - 05/10/2001
Phoenix: The Special Report
...I'd like to thank the many folks who have written in over the last day, sharing their experiences and views on what went down at the Phoenix promo show yesterday. I've compared all these reports, and spoken with the band and management, from whom I learned some very important facts. So heres the deal...
First of all, what weezer proposed for these shows was basically a totally free short set showcasing the new songs plus an autograph signing that would last long enough for everyone who wanted an autograph to get one. Agreed upon crowd size for these shows is supposed to be "intimate", that is, approx 500 at most. At both the San Diego and Phoenix shows, the local radio stations misrepresented the shows by claiming they would be 1 hour or longer full performances. Also, both shows were pushed beyond agreed capacity by the radio stations by distributing tons of extra tickets via numerous contests which pushed fans to the limits of endurance trying to get in, and (epecially in the case of Phoenix), only served to hype the radio station, doing nothing to improve the show.
The REAL shocker is the conduct of the Phoenix radio station in particular. Everyone was wondering why the remote "Rawhide" venue was chosen. Everyone was REALLY wondering why an additional 1000 tickets were sold, at $8.50 a piece at the door to the park to get in on the night of the show. This was a free show to contest winners, right? Keep in mind Weezer found out about these ticket sales AFTER they played, and NEVER would have agreed to them. They were playing for FREE, or so they thought. Heres the scoop. The Radio station owed the Rawhide park a lot of money, from some earlier event that didnt do well. The radio station insisted on promoting the show themselves, keeping the local promoter away, and they insisted on holding the gig at Rawhide. Why? Because they knew they were going to let 1000 extra tickets go on sale (for a FREE gig!) and use the proceeds from the sales ($8,500) to pay Rawhide back!! Without the fans or weezer being the wiser! Needless to say, weezer went ballistic when they found out about all this (thanks to the fans who explained to weezers crew what had happened to them at the door), and are in the process of re-directing the unscrupulously made $ away from Rawhide, away from the Radio Station, and toward a charity. At least something good can come of the whole mess.
On top of all that, the Phoenix radio station repeatedly announced the show as a full show, over 1 hour long. (And no wonder, they wanted to sell those 1000 tickets!) This explains the conduct of the unruly fans who were outraged when the show ended after a short set. It does not excuse their awful behavior however. I'll let Dan the Lighting Man take it from here:
"After they were done, it took the house a few minutes to get the lights on, the radio DJ's didn't come out for a while, so undersandably the fans thought an encore was coming. When it was apparent that the guys weren't coming back out and the crew was striking the gear, sh*t started flying. Beebe (Bass Tech) took a few beers, water bottles, Atom got hit with some trash, and Bobby (Guitar Tech) has a nice bump on his forehead from the genius that figured hurling a battery at the stage would encourage the band to do an encore. Atom tried to reason with the offending jocks but it did little good. I got so incensed that I ran into the crowd and berated the first kid I saw throwing something, only to find out that he had paid to get in, then I exchanged words with some other kids who were complaining about the same thing. I went to the promoter and asked if people had actually paid to get in, he explained that "the park had started charging people" ...maybe they thought the gunfight show was just suddenly really popular. Rivers met seperately with every record company and radio station representative that was on site to get to the bottom of it all, and to make sure that situations like this won't arise again. We were all very upset that the fans had been misled as well as disappointed at the conduct of the minority who found it fit to pelt the crew."
Now, those crew guys are just doing their jobs, and they do a great job every night. It kills me to hear about this! To top it all off, fans are reporting DJ's today at the same station playing the first 30 seconds of weezer songs then cutting it off, claiming that "since weezer ended their show early, we wont play the whole song". THE NERVE OF THEM!
...Anyway, we hope that this kind of gross misrepresentation doesn't happen again, and we urge you the fans at these things to bring any sort of shady bizness you see or are victimized by to the attention of Gus the tour manager, Atom (drum god/maraca man), or me. (I'll be with the boys as of the 15th Tower show) Thanks, everyone.