Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wilco and a message to the Adler

Thanks to Wilco for putting on a heck of a show last night at the Adler. I'm no longtime fan, but I enjoy their music, and the tickets were cheap, so I decided to go. I'm certainly glad I did, and their opening act, Low, was just as good.

Unfortunately, the whole evening was nearly ruined by a fight that broke out, and the Adler's absolutely horrible response to it. During the second song of the encore, for whatever reason there was a fight near the stage along the aisle. Now, for those of you that don't know Wilco, it really isn't that type of concert. No mosh put, no crowd surfing, etc. At a typical professionally run concert, some sort of security or bouncers would have immediately escorted the fighters out of the theater.

Unfortunately, last night the fight was allowed to continue for several minutes, with someone clearly getting the worst of it. I could see one guy kneeling down and clearly punching downwards at someone already on the ground. People were yelling for security, and the band, while still playing, was looking very dismayed that nothing was being done. As soon as they finished the song, the band itself asked for some security up there. They had to be wondering what would happen if these two or three nuts decided to take that fight onto the stage. Literally the entire Adler was focused on this, and others in my group saw a guy with a bloody face. The best security response that seemed to show up was one of the 70-year old guys in top hats that hold the front doors open for people.

Somehow the fighters were finally removed, but it had completely killed the mood of the whole place. Wilco did the final song of their encore, and the concert let out. However, instead of talking about the great show, everyone was talking about the fight. Many of us were standing around outside talking on the sidewalk in front of the theater. Now, everyone knows that I rarely criticize the DPD, but they really made a bad situation worse last night. They were quite rude with people who were very harmlessly standing around talking after the concert. Had it not been for the fight, these crowds downtown would have been no issue. I'm sure the cops were using their typical experience where if they drive away from a mob, they'll just be called back there 2 minutes later for a fight. However, none of the Wilco concert goers except for the 2 or 3 involved idiots had any interest in fighting. We wouldn't have needed the 4 or 5 squad cars that were parked along 3rd street if 1 or 2 police officers had been present at the concert. It was a small fight, and would have been over in seconds if there had been any officers on hand to stop it.

A number of out of town people were at the concert, because it was the opening concert of their US tour, and one of their ONLY midwest stops. I heard of people coming from as far away as Minneapolis and Madison. Instead of leaving in a great mood after a great concert in a beautiful historic venue, people left talking about a terrible lack of security and overbearing police. The worst part is that this isn't even the first time. There was also a fight at folk singer John Prine's concert last March. Reading some online reviews of that concert gives mixed opinions on whether the problem was quickly taken care of, or there was a similar lack of security.

Please, folks in charge of the Adler, and city officials.... get some serious security at these concerts. Don't just assume that because its peaceful indie rock folks that 2 jackasses won't ruin it for everyone. And DPD, maybe next time try not to treat said peaceful indie rock fans like a violent mob when they're standing around harmlessly on downtown sidewalks and plazas.

Here's Wilco's tour list, which shows us among a very impressive list of cities around the world. I wouldn't expect us to continue getting quality acts like this if things aren't changed at the Adler.

Here's a forum where people are already reviewing the show. Surfing around this forum has shown me that people were in town from all over the US for the concert.


At 6/14/2007 8:27 AM, Anonymous A.M. said...

How I long for the days of palmer auditorium and the security guys who's arms were bigger than most guys torsos.
Well I guess it's back to The Irish Tenors and gospel music for the Adler.
What kind of moron fights at a Wilco show anyway?

At 6/14/2007 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was standing right next to this fight and it was unreal. im not really sure how it happened but it was a girl and a guy kicking the shit out of this other guy. the kid was down on the ground an they just kept beatin on him. it took about 5 min for the 75 year old door man to come down and he was useless i think others in the crowd actually stoped the fight. it was still an amazing concert and the adler has was awsome,great souund and enviornment.

At 6/14/2007 10:02 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

That's disappointing. At least most of the commenters on the forum focused on how good the concert was and not the fight.

The Adler will probably lose way more in sales due to incidents like this than it would cost to have a minimal security presence.

At 6/14/2007 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they finally fix the acoustics at the Adler with the most recent renovations? I haven't been there in probably 10 years, but the acoustics used to be absolutely horrible--possibly the single worst theater of the scores of theaters and auditoriums I've been to.

That's awesome that Wilco played there! I see that their shows near me this summer are already sold out. :(

At 6/14/2007 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THe acostics is the balcony are way bad. They need to look into that. Other then that - the place is cool.

One thing people should ask about is if alcohol played a part in this fight ebcause the Adler allows booze int he theatre.

At 6/14/2007 10:07 PM, Anonymous Gina said...

Part of the problem comes from paying a bonus to the contractor that runs the Alder based on subsidy reduction. That leads to inappropriate cuts at times. Security costs is one example. Maintenance costs is another. The current contractor is not really doing the best overall for the taxpayer investment or the attendees. They are focused on their wallets.

At 6/15/2007 7:07 AM, Anonymous Shelley said...

QCI-I followed the link to the forum and thought that the comments on Wilco and the show were interesting. One thing-what were they talking about "curfew at 10:30"? Does Davenport and/or the Adler have a "curfew"?

At 6/15/2007 7:16 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I've been confused by that ever since the concert. They actually mentioned it during the concert as a reason they had to cut things short. The only thing I can figure is that they wanted to have everyone on their way home by the weeknight 11pm under-18 curfew in Davenport.

Any of you city folks know if this is an Adler rule, or just the city curfew?

At 6/15/2007 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A curfew? Sounds more like the Adler didn't want to pay overtime. This fight might have happened at the Mark but it would have been dealt with a helluva lot sooner. At least no plaster fell off the ceiling. Gina is right, the guys managing the adler are running a really cool theater into the ground. I heard from a friend that they kicked the local stagehands out and are bussing in nonunion people from DesMoines to 'save money'
I won't be back there.

At 6/15/2007 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sound in the balcony is BAD. Seats are good though, sound BAD. We paid like $50plus dollars for the seats to see a muscian play and I would have hope he sound would have been atleast adequate.

One other thing is the venue and the kinds of groups they get there. Wilco, Prine, Hiatt, etc. are sing along bands and dance or sway while you party bands. Many of the followers are HUGE fans and have fun etc. But, the Adler is a ballet and musical theatre. Sit in your seats and shut up. The Prine fight was over a lady singing along as many many many of us did. I think that Prine and others should not be booked at teh Adler - they are more Col Ballroom kinds of bands. The hoity toitys will not want to listen to people singing along so mixed with the alcohol = problems

At 6/15/2007 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't they learn their lesson about putting rock bands in there after they got seats ripped out of the floor?
I agree with 10:23, they should stick with the 'fine arts' programming and not try to be a rock venue.
Seems like they are having trouble managing the venue or figuring out their market -maybe davenport one should take over the place like they did the RME.....

At 6/15/2007 3:03 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I disagree that they shouldn't try and get bands like this. Had it not been for these 2 or 3 people it would have been an absolutely great concert. Nearly all of the reviews online say something along those lines too.

I think its a great place for a rock show. Its a cool mixture of art deco, symphony-style theater and indie rock.

At 6/15/2007 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that the Adler (under the old name of RKO Orpheum) played host to KISS back in the mid-70's, who recorded a portion of their classic "Alive!" album there. If people want to sing along, just book those bands who play loud enough to drown out any singing from the audience. And bring back Rob Zombie.

At 6/15/2007 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I was at a concert there they had a couple cops in the lobby doing much of nothing (this was way before they did the improvement) Where were the cops that night? Don't they have to be there when there is alcohol sold? Or was that just a thing the city made them do when they owned the place. Sounds like a no brainer to have at least one cop there for any type of concert that has heavy drinking at it.
Anyway it sounds like the guy who go the crap beaten out of him could get a nice settlement out of the adler...

At 6/18/2007 12:57 PM, Blogger Matt said...

The fans around us -sitting in the mid balcony, barely right of center - were awful. one woman yelled obscenities practically the whole time, ad my wife and i actually thought she legitimately had Tourette's. nope. the biggest shock to me, a ssomeone who owns everything up to summerteeth but nothing afterward, was... since when did Wilco attract the Phish hippie crowd? man... i do not fit into the demographic of their current fanbase.

anyways... they're still an amazing band, but their music is going into a direction that is losing my interest. props to them, and overall, a big dis to the fans.


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