I was thinking about a few more concerts that I did the sound for. George Winston may have been the most uncomfortable performance that I ever personally witnessed.

Winston plays sleepy/new-agey piano music that I can tolerate for maybe 2-3 tunes, but after that it just makes me tired. I was responsible for setting up microphones and running sound reinforcement for the show. I met briefly with his manager prior to the performance to ensure that things were set to his specifications. I’ll never forget the look in his face when he assured me that, “George will play an encore.”

Winston played for somewhere between 70 and 90 minutes, it all ran together. The audience was in for maybe the first third of the show, but then from my vantage point, I could see people shifting in their seats, looking around and yawning. When he finished the last tune, there was a collective leap to their feet as the audience started streaming for the doors.

About 10 seconds after finishing the last tune, George ran back out to the stage with a guitar to play an encore of slack-key hawaiian-influenced music. It was so uncomfortable to watch him starting to play while people were actively leaving. About 60 seconds into the tune, the exit doors were covered by ushers who where trying to get people to return back to their seats. Not exactly leaving the audience wanting for more.



Published

21 February 2011

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