Last Thoughts on Philly (hopefully)

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Posted by Clay Marshall on September 16, 98 at 12:28:41:

There seems to be a little confusion regarding Sunday night's show, so hopefully this will answer all questions.

The band did everything right. The venue did everything wrong.

First of all, the Trocadero apparently has a 11:30 curfew on all-ages shows. Problem is, they didn't tell the band until just before showtime. An even bigger problem is that they booked three opening bands, which of course ran overboard... making Savatage hit the stage after 10 P.M.

Then there's the issue of the venue not honoring the band's guest list requests. No, $12 doesn't kill anyone, but it's the principle of the matter here, and the condescending nature employees had. When asked if a VIP laminate, analagous to being on the guest list, would be valid for admission to the Troc as it had been for other shows, the answer was a resounding "No." When asked why, the response was insightful: "Because I said so." Even the "all access" passes that the band and crew, as well as select guest-listed fans, had, the venue did not honor because "anyone could make them at Kinko's" (?!?). Members of the crew were forced to wear a special wristband handed out by the venue. For a while, it looked as if some would have to pay to get in to the club to do their jobs. Club officials, when confronted with the issue, feigned sarcasm and disinterest, and seemed to not care at all about satisfying the customer. Their rudeness and confrontational tones were not appreciated.

There were many other downers that night as well, including a sadly sparse crowd in one of America's major cities (and one that the band hasn't hit in five years at that). Also, compared to the legendary show at Birch Hill the night before, the Philly crowd seemed very subdued, at least comparatively speaking.

The kicker was the manner in which club employees and officials acted as the show ended. They instigated verbal confrontations with fans and were basically looking for trouble. Some were overheard saying (entirely without base, mind you) that Savatage fans were the worst they'd ever seen, and that we the fans, as well as the band, would not be welcomed back in the future.

I hope this clears things up, and explains why many of us have voiced dissatisfaction with the show. Savatage was phenomenal as always, even though there was no time for "Turns To Me," "Sirens," and the entire "Believe" portion of the show (solos, etc.). So, on behalf of the fans who were in attendance (which seemed to include 50% out-of-towners, not just me!), I urge management / booking to never include Phila-hell-phia in any subsequent tour schedule.

Clay Marshall

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