A free show. With Vince Vaccaro, Leeroy Stagger & Wide Mouth Mason. On the beach. Sounds all sorts of awesome, right? Well, it should have been... had it not been for the damn rain. It was on the roof of the Bathhouse at English Bay, which right away was an awkward set up. The bands were up playing on the roof, while everyone was standing down on the ground & the beach, so the "stage" was high up above everyone. So much so that you couldn't see anyone not at the edge of the roof. Like, say, the drummer. And you would think the promoters, planners or whomever would have looked at the forecast and thought "Hey, it might rain. Maybe we should have a backup plan instead of just leaving everything out in the open!" But no. It was kind of ridiculous.
Vince Vaccaro was first out at 630. I've been hearing Vaccaro for years now, and have always been interested to see him live, but I've just never got the chance, until now. Though, since he was scheduled for a short set, he only ended up playing for 20 minutes or so, getting 4 or 5 songs in.
The few songs, which included what is probably his most well known song, Heart & Hands, made for a good set, and got at least a few of the random people on the beach into it.
Then the rain really started coming down, with the thunderstorms starting up. They covered all the equipment in tarps and stood around for a while... before the rain eased up a little, or enough for Leeroy Stagger to go on. Though since he went on twenty minutes late, he got his set cut way short, only playing three songs. Which was incredibly lame. Though he did introduce the rest of his band as The Wallflowers, and I am pretty sure he said on drums was Ian Browne, so that was kind of cool. If only I'd been able to actually see him. Or hear more than three songs.
After his set, the rain came back, with a vengeance, and lightning flashing in the sky every few minutes. Eventually, they got the brilliant idea to cram everything under the one tent-thingie they had up on the roof for Wide Mouth Mason to play. Again, you'd think they would have more than the one....
Going on late, their set was cut short too. They only played a handful of songs, mostly just the singles and more well known songs. And, of course, some which were quite appropriate, like This Mourning ("And I'll sing to the rain is gone"), Rained Out Parade and Midnight Rain.
I don't blame any of the musicians for this, as they did they best they could under the circumstances. I blame the promoters and organizers for their complete lack of preparedness and ability to look at a forecast. Or up at the doomy looking clouds in the sky. Though, it made for a few cool moments, where a band would be playing and you see a bolt of lightning shoot across the sky behind them.
Ultimately, though, it was still somewhat of a disappointment. I'd been wanting to see both Vaccaro and Stagger for a while, so that was a crushing defeat. I'm just glad WMM will be back in October (for the show that was supposed to be in June, but was postponed) and hope the others will be back soon.