Tonawanda News

July 14, 2013

MUSIC NOTES: Rain, roll 'n roll make for a muddy mess

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — There are few things I love more than live music, and there are few things I hate more than rain. Over the past week the two have collided, and gave me pause to think about all of the concert experiences I have had that were ruined by rain.

The cancellation of the Puddle of Mudd show provided an opportunity for me to cover the Counting Crows at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. I had interviewed the bands lead singer, Adam Duritz, for the Niagara Gazette and the publicist offered me tickets to see the show. Once POM was cancelled, I took her up on the offer.

Now the Counting Crows fall into an odd category of bands that I have really wanted to see but things never seemed to work out. On their first U.S tour I had tickets to a show that was cancelled, and every other time they came around I had to cover another show or I had plans that couldn’t be changed.

The opportunity to finally see a band on my “bucket list” doesn’t happen very often anymore, and so I was really psyched to be able to attend the performance in Buffalo. Of course anyone that attended the show will tell you it was a wet mess, and inasmuch as hearing “Rain King” during a rain storm was cool, my “parade” was rained on.

Honestly, it was the worst rain I have ever endured for a concert. There have been sporadic rain storms at other shows I have attended, like the time it rained during “Love Reign O’er Me” at a concert by The Who, but then ceased.

Perhaps the most famous rainstorm at an outdoor show occurred at the first Woodstock. Anyone that I have ever spoken to who attended the show said it was just a gigantic mess. There are plenty of pictures of concertgoers happily rolling around in the mud, but that is a romanticized version of what must have been a pretty gross experience.

As I am writing this, I am just starting to dry off from the Dave Matthews Band show at Darien Lake. It rained a lot before the show and then there was a downpour during the encores. I did a fairly good job not getting too wet and muddy, but it was difficult considering the fact that there were drunken crazies rolling around in the mud like pigs.

Two shows in less than five days where I got poured on was just too much for me to handle, and as I drove home covered in mud I thought to myself that I really need to check the weather forecast before I go to shows.

Of course, the quandary I face is that both the Dave Matthews Band and Counting Crows put on great shows, and I would have been mad at myself if I had missed them. It makes me wish that concerts were handled the same way as baseball games and that they could be rained out and rescheduled.

Thom Jennings writes a weekly column on the music scene for Sunday Lifestyles. Email him at