Just recently Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers (BH) came through Evans, Georgia. They came to be a part of a benefit for ALS by contributing to the ALS Clinic at Augusta University Health. As part of the opening support, a local band named Scarlet Begonias would perform an entire set as a tribute to The Grateful Dead. Everything was ready and set to begin come show time on June 15th, except for one thing… no one told Mother Nature to chill out and let us have this little bit of time outdoors. As we all know weather can be an unavoidable issue, and to my knowledge something like this has never fallen upon any previous Friends With Benefits Productions in the area. So it was a good run against Mother Nature, but alas, she cannot be denied when she speaks.
Scarlet Begonias (SB) is comprised of Jason Shepard (guitar), John Kolbeck (vocals/guitar), Michael Garrett (piano), George Dale (bass), and Brian Brittingham (drums). They were set to start performing at 6:30 pm and play until 8:00 pm in order for BH to start at 8:30 pm. Well at least that was the plan, and we all know what happens to best laid plans. A thunderstorm warning, with lightning, had been issued by the National Weather Service which in turn caused a delay in SB taking the stage. They were unfortunately delayed until right around 7 pm before they were able to finally start their incredible homage to The Grateful Dead. You could tell the crowd was very excited at the start of SB’s set and just sat back and let the guys do their thing. They were able to play for roughly 45 minutes though before they were told to cut it short. Once again the weather would not cooperate and safety took precedent over the event, which is very understandable. After this announcement we were also told to evacuate the amphitheater for a little while and they would announce when it would be safe to resume the show.
At 8:55 pm, the announcement was made to let the show resume, which was about 30 minutes past the original start time for BH. The crowds rushed back inside to secure their spot again as Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers began to play under the cloudy sky. It was very welcoming to hear BH caress those keys and serenade the crowd with his smooth and easy sounding vocals. Once BH started to play an extended version of “The Way It Is” (which, I believe was their fourth song in), lightning began to strike behind the amphitheater giving off a really, crazy light show. Unfortunately, this would also mean weather reports would come in citing a possible danger with the neighboring lightning strikes. After “The Way It Is” was over, BH and his band were told to cease playing. You could see Bruce himself pleading with The Powers That Be that he be allowed to continue playing his piano for the crowd. This would not work either as they wanted to ensure the safety of all concert goers and performers alike. It was very understandable because you can’t control the weather and how it will react. Sadly, the event was called off and everyone was told to go home and seek shelter.
Makes you wonder if maybe Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers might plan a return trip to make up for the unexpected mishap with the weather. What makes this story even more poignant, Bruce’s sister, Melissa Smith, was diagnosed with ALS and succumbed to the illness on September 14th, 2010. So this charitable event for ALS meant a lot more to Bruce than what most people may have thought. We were very pleased with the turn-out for this event despite the gloomy weather that loomed overhead all evening. It just goes to show that no matter the condition of the weather, people will come to listen to music under the twilight. All of us want to say thank you to all who came and supported this noble event for ALS research.
If you enjoyed this incredible event or would like to know more about FWB’s upcoming concerts, check out these links to their upcoming events and grab your tickets now: The Major Rager: featuring Umphrey’s McGee and Moon Taxi (08/10/2017 The PGA Championship edition- Charlotte, N.C.), Government Mule with Galatic (08/01/2017 – part of The Riverwalk Revival- Augusta, Ga.), and Ben Folds (09/01/2017 – part of The Riverwalk Revival- Augusta, Ga.).
We have a really, busy few months upcoming and we are very excited for what’s in store for our audience. ‘Like’ our page and stay up to date in 2017 on all music related events/festivals such as: Electric Forest (First weekend), Raekwon: Live at The Masquerade, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, Sturgill Simpson: Live in Charlotte, Mo Pop Festival, My Morning Jacket with Gary Clark, Jr: Live in Charlotte, Shabazz Palaces: Live at Terminal West , Pallbearer: Live at The Masquerade, and Hulaween by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram.
Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!