It was the perfect day, but to use that adjective to describe it doesn't feel right, it almost feels cheap. May 6th was an absolute nirvana. Yup, that rolls off the tongue so much smoother and also sits better when looking back at the variety of live music encompassed in one short day. Entertainment Manufacturing Group took on a day in the festival world after receiving a personal invitation from one of our Nashville clients. A Production Company's, owner and engineer, Howard Bennet offered EMG a non-obstructed, backstage view at SunFest allowing Us to truly experience the backstage ways of live production.
As we arrived at SunFest and approached the will-call, band only, booth I was a bit intimidated. Not knowing what to expect I gave the woman my first, last and company name. As she searched with intent for my envelope, I wiggled with nervousness and excitement, it seemed as hours had passed not just seconds. "Brinley Mazza?" Yes! Yes, ma'am," I cringed, knowing I had just thrown myself under the bus. I was doing a damn good job at failing to contain my excitement, which was made more evident by my, obviously premeditated, and all-too-hasty response. In response, she smiled and let out a slight chuckle, dead giveaway, I was clearly too animated, now embarrassed. Leaving will call I reassured myself it was okay to be exhilarated about the day to come, for God sakes, we're at one of the biggest festivals in the Sunshine State.
With that thought, Rob and I meandered past the portal-like entry becoming encompassed by an unnatural, unearthly, otherworldly atmosphere…
The hours were spent with all ears on the musicians, monitor/FOH/mix engineers, and stage crew. We were submerged entirely in various tunes, each slight breeze brought the melodies from the surrounding stages into a murky somewhat-audible range. Backstage with Night Ranger Rob and I saw our products, from both Tour Tronics and Entertainment Metals, in use. I stood next to Howard chronicling the content as the band stepped out onto the stage. Night Ranger's, Kelly Keagy, the original drummer, and vocalist recovering from a heart procedure. They began to play, suddenly coming to a halt after just two songs, and invited Kelly out to cover vocals. This resulted in a raving crowd forging into what seemed to be a sea of waves bobbing to each beat. The first 5 songs of the set came to a close as we ventured out to adjoin the shifting tide of admirers.
We bobbed with the band and encircling crowd before heading back towards the FOH Mix Position. Approaching the tent, clearly set up to shelter from the sun, Rob spotted Rick Soukup a principal of ESI Audio, another EMG client. Rick invited us into the FOH Mix Position where we had the convenience of watching the remainder of the set. The stage emptied following Night Rangers exit, the set changed and was geared up for Lover Boy's take over. I looked around for Rob, Lover Boy began to play, and I spotted him in the very front of the tent. Rob, 34 years later, watched the second of two acts he hadn't seen perform since '83 with a grin stretched ear to ear. Music has a way of doing that to us, changing your mood, teleporting you back to your youth. EMG's experience at SunFest 2017 will forever be stamped in our passport thanks to A Production Company's, Howard Bennet.
We can't wait to Rock out with you next time you make it back down to the Sunshine state!
Let the Good times Rock & Roll