George Strait returns for a show Saturday night, a week after his Feb. 25 show at Sprint Center was postponed because he was sick.
Concerts get postponed or canceled regularly, but what made the Strait postponement unusual was how it went down. After a rousing one-hour opening set by Martina McBride, Strait took the stage the way he usually does: walking across the floor onto the stage (he performs in the round) as the public address system played “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
After he sang two songs, “Here for a Good Time” and “I Gotta get to You,” he stopped and said, in a voice that was clearly hoarse, “I just can’t do it.”
He then advised everyone to hang onto their tickets and return in a week, when he said he would be feeling, and sounding, a lot better. Afterward, Sprint Center officials made it official: Strait and McBride would return Saturday and do it all over again.
Kansas City fans have dealt with cancellations and postponements before. None was more infamous than when Bruce Springsteen canceled his Sprint Center show in October 2009, just hours before its scheduled time because a member of his crew (and his first cousin) was found dead in his downtown Kansas City hotel room. Springsteen said he’d return to the Sprint Center as soon as possible. He hasn’t yet.
On Nov. 11, 2008, Celine Dion postponed her Nov. 15 show at the Sprint Center due to illness, rescheduling it for Jan. 3, seven weeks later. On Sept. 30, 2009, Miley Cyrus postponed her Oct. 3 show at the Sprint Center, rescheduling it for Oct. 17, two weeks later.
Strait’s postponement was unusual for a few reasons. For one, he tried to go on with the show. Secondly, he announced the makeup show from the stage.
“It’s very rare that the show was rescheduled immediately and so soon,” said Brett Mosiman, who owns Pipeline Productions, which runs the Wakarusa Music Festival and promotes shows at Crossroads KC, among other venues.
“Typically, if a show is rescheduled, it takes several weeks, even months.”
Mosiman dealt with a similar situation last summer, when the band Cinderella canceled right before it was due on stage because lead singer Tom Keifer was ill.
“He was really sick,” Mosiman said. “There was a doctor there with him all day. Frankly, it should have been called earlier, but they didn’t want to because when a band cancels, they don’t get paid.”
The Cinderella show was not rescheduled, Mosiman said, because a date couldn’t be settled on. “There weren’t many dates available and the ones that were didn’t work for us,” he said, “so we canceled and gave refunds.”
A last-minute postponement and reschedule like the Strait show means both parties have to absorb extra expenses, just like fans who lose service fees on refunded tickets or have to make two trips to the Sprint Center.
“In this case, the show happened so security was there, the stage hands were there, the catering happened so some expenses are doubled,” Mosiman said. “But because it’s nearly sold out, the money should be there to pay those bills twice. Maybe George makes a little less profit. It’s no big deal. Ideally, for the promoter, if a show is going to get postponed or canceled, it happens at least a day before the show so, at worst, you absorb only some marketing expenses and maybe a few deposits.”
The Feb. 25 show at Sprint Center was the final show on this leg of Strait’s 2012 tour so his calendar was open. So, fortunately, was the calendar at the Sprint Center, which is about to get busy.
Fans were given the option of holding onto their tickets or returning them for a refund. Some fans have asked for refunds, but Shani Tate, marketing director at the Sprint Center said, “We’re reselling them as fast as they’re being returned.”
And the hope among all involved is that everyone shows up for a good time, and the good time lasts.
• George Strait performs Saturday night at the Sprint Center. Martina McBride opens at 7:30 p.m. All tickets to the postponed Feb. 25 show will be honored at the rescheduled show.Also this weekend
The Davey’s Uptown Ramblers calendar says Saturday’s headliner is “Not the Wilders but damn close.” The last we’d heard, the Wilders were on a long, perhaps a permanent, hiatus. Betse Ellis, fiddler and singer for the Wilders explains:
“This show would have been a Wilders show, but it turned out one of us couldn’t do the Davey’s show after all. But since Ike was already going to be in Kansas, Michelle Markowitz (Davey’s owner) said it was OK for us to do a different kind of show with Ike (Sheldon), Nate (Gawron) and me.
“We don’t want to do a show with a substitute player, so don’t think of it as a Wilders show. Maybe think of it as a good time with friends, except these friends happen to be prone to unpredictable moments on stage. These friends may not be wearing suits and ties. Or even cowboy hats.
“Word on the street is that we may be joined by friends like Paul Andrews, Mark Smeltzer, maybe even Brendan Moreland and others who will remain a surprise. So it’s not a Wilders show, but you can get a bit of a Wilders fix. And there may be only one other chance this year for another fix.”
The official poster for the show bills it like this: “Ike, Betse, Nate Present: Throwdown With Friends Show featuring the Jekyll Hyde Sideshow.”
“The Jekyll and Hyde Sideshow is made up of two Wilders,” Ellis said. “They’ve taken this show to an actual sideshow in Edinburgh. They have played to great acclaim alongside such acts as the guy who stuck a lot of straight pins in his chest, and that other guy who contorted his body through an unstrung tennis racquet. It’s actually true.”
Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $7 at Davey’s, 3402 Main St.
The fourth and final MidCoast Takeover fundraiser is Friday at Czar, 1531 Grand Blvd. The lineup: Sara Swenson, Quiet Corral and Blackbird Revue. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is $10. It’s an 18-and-older show.
The fundraisers benefit the third annual MidCoast Takeover, a caravan of bands from Kansas City, Lawrence and other parts of the Midwest going to Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Music Conference. More than 30 bands will perform at the free showcases March 16-17. Sondra Freeman, an organizer with the Takeover, said the fundraisers and sponsor money have helped the group approach its goal.
“The money will pay for the venue, sound and lighting, printing, van rental and hauling expenses,” she said. “When we round up the rest of the sponsor money, which I’ll be working on this week, we will have reached 85 percent (of the goal).”
Making Music benefit
The band Making Movies is about to launch its biggest project ever, and it is asking its fans to chip in via Pledge Music.
In March, the band is going to Portland, Ore., to record its sophomore album. Steve Berlin of Los Lobos will produce. Throughpledgemusic.com/projects/makingmovies
, the band is raising money for the album. At Pledge Music fans can find a range of merchandise, from $10 early downloads to a $2,000 executive producer package.
Some of the proceeds will go to a summer music camp Making Movies is starting in Northeast Kansas City with the Mattie Rhodes Center.