6:30pm. It’s raining. Hard. And there’s a blizzard warning in effect beginning….sometime in the evening? Most of the band is onsite setting up for an 8:30pm start. Many of the faithful are already putting the brakes on the evening. “sorry, we decided to stay home in case it gets worse. We see sleet already.”
The messages among The Shakopee Bowl bar manager, owner and band are flying like the much ballyhooed flakes in the forecast. The owner decides he’d like us to start early, and we are happy to oblige.
The band and our hired sound for the evening, Corey of Curbside Productions, scurry to plug in all the cords, and test the instruments and lights as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Beth alerts the fans via social media. “We’re starting early so we can give you a great show and try to ensure you get home safe”.
People are there. Whew. It isn’t our normal packed house, but sometimes you’re just grateful there’s at least one smiling face ready for music.
We are rushed, but we begin. The crowd actually grows into the night. The dancefloor fills up. Nyla and Hannah have a table full of Hawaiian dressed birthday partygoers and they’re the first to get the night going and many of that group stay until the bitter end. We sell out of Sugar Buzz oven mitts (yes, that’s a thing) and Scott dons his new Sugar Buzz t-shirt proudly on the dancefloor. More brave souls came out than we expected, and we gratefully toast the crowd.
95+ minutes into the night, there’s still an ample crowd, so we take only 10 minutes to freshen up before we’re onstage again. Sweet Child O’ Mine and Photograph get the crowd dancing right away and we feel…. Success.
The crowd thins out toward the end of the night, as now it’s snowing and blowing…. Hard.
Cheers to Denise, the super fan, to Scott, to the church party, the Hawaiian party, to the 3 women who want to hear more HEART, to Samantha- the music theater singer who wants some vocal tips for her own craft, to Kris and Michael, to all the new fans we met, and to those who recognize like family. Cheers to Shakopee Bowl, our host who lets us start early, and to Corey from Curbside Productions who didn’t flinch when the start time meant “hustle”.
A white-knuckle drive home isn’t entirely unexpected for a Minnesota cover band immersed in the last weather offerings for March, but that’s the life!