Concert Review

Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, Plain White Tís and Cute Is What We Aim For

Well worth it! The concert stop in Philadelphia, PA by Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, Plain White Tís and Cute Is What We Aim For was well worth the price of admission. I must admit... I was skeptical. Certainly, not all the bands would be worth sitting through?

However, it was a pleasant surprise. Hmmmm... it might have helped being a "guy"? In the audience, the ratio of girls to guys must have been 100:1. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen a crowd that can keep the beat in quite some time. Perhaps a study in why females can clap better than males is in order? But, I'll have to save that for another day.

A few observations about the entire show:

The show moved along quickly considering the number of acts. By the time Fall Out Boy reached the stage, the crowd had become massive but managed to maintain their dancing. This turned out to be anything but a bunch of one hit wonders posing to their song. No! This was a real rock concert for our times.

It was kind-of weird seeing pyrotechnics, again. It use to be fairly common for bands to include "smoke n' fire" in their shows. However, it seems to be as dangerous as it sounds. Perhaps the true story from one of the most famous songs ever recorded, Smoke On The Water, should have been enough to teach us a lesson. (The Deep Purple song even showed up in Guitar Hero.) The whole song is about:

We all came out to Montreux
On the lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn't have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

They burned down the gambling house
It died with an awful sound
Funky Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids out the ground
When it all was over
We had to find another place
But swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

Then, there was the Great White tragedy. Here is part of the CNN report:

At least 96 killed in nightclub inferno
Governor: DNA might be only clue to identity of some victims
Friday, February 21, 2003 Posted: 11:45 PM EST (0445 GMT)

Capacity: 300
Four working fire exits
Fire sprinklers were not required
Passed annual fire inspection
Source: West Warwick Fire Chief Charles Hall

WEST WARWICK, Rhode Island (CNN) -- Ninety-six people died Thursday in a fast-moving fire at a Rhode Island nightclub, Gov. Don Carcieri said Friday afternoon, adding that only a handful of the bodies have been identified.

With 35 people in critical and serious conditions, the governor said it would not surprise him if the death toll were to rise above 100.

Because some bodies are badly burned, Carcieri said, family members might have to wait for DNA testing to learn their loved ones' fate.

Dorothy Palazzo is searching for her cousin, who attended the music show at The Station concert club in West Warwick.

"We're hoping that he walks in that door," she said. "He's got a great wife, beautiful children waiting for him to walk through the door and come home."

Other families made the rounds of hospitals and morgues, several showing photographs of the missing in hopes that someone saw them escape the club.

Pyrotechnics used by the heavy metal band Great White ignited the inferno. Owners of the nightclub have said they did not know the band planned to use fireworks, but Great White lead singer Jack Russell said, "Our tour manager set that up with the club."

At least 187 injured people were taken to nearby hospitals, where 81 were admitted, the governor said. Ten were flown to the nearest burn centers in Massachusetts.

Investigators are sifting the charred wreckage for personal identification and belongings that might help identify the victims, he said.

Families are being asked to bring photographs of the missing to a crisis center that has been set up at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel. Grief counselors and clergy members are on hand to help families.

Carcieri said 80 people who escaped from the club have come forward and that all 81 hospitalized victims have been identified.

Carcieri praised fire and rescue crews, saying the first responders "probably saved as many as 100 lives by pulling people out of there."

Fire Chief Charlie Hall said because the wooden structure was small and was built before 1976, it was not required to have a sprinkler system. But when asked if one would have helped the situation, he said, "If there were sprinklers in this building, we wouldn't be here right now."

Great White did not have the required city permit for a pyrotechnics display, officials said Friday. Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch said he was dealing with "a potential criminal investigation."

Carcieri said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was involved in the investigation.

After the Station Nightclub Fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, bands pretty much did away with pyrotechnics in concert. Why take the risk? What about the liability insurance? What happens if you incinerate your fan base?

... thus, the demise of fire on stage... until....

Much to my glee, intermittently, Fall Out Boy would fire-up a giant fire. We were sitting a few rows back on the side of the stage. It was quite some distance from the fire, but that didn't stop the sensation. The sound. The heat. The shock wave. It was enough to move you off your seat. It was nice to see such a young crowd getting to witness rock theatrics for the first time!

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