“Take me out to the rainstorm!”
Ok, so that’s not exactly how the song goes. But, you get the idea.
Rain nearly got in the way of a great time last night, as Carl and I were to entertain at the Jimmy John’s Stadium in Utica Michigan. That being said, the rain never stopped the crowd or Bob and Carl for that matter, from doing what we do best. Making things fun.
Let’s back up, shall we . . .
Carl and I arrived at the stadium around 4:30 in the afternoon, to set up our equipment. Rain was in the forecast, but as anyone who has lived in Michigan for very long can tell you, it is always a matter of, when.
The decision was made of where to set up, and how to prevent most of the rain from bothering the equipment, when it eventually would arrive. We put a tarp under us, one in front and two at the ready on the sides. We should be good to go.
Having set up and battened down for the night, we were now ready to find out when were were to actually play. Our manager Richard Paul was there to give us some guidance, as his acts have been working most of the summer to entertain at the ball-park.
Rick handed us off to Tim, who gave us more information, and guidance, and eventually handed us off to a Amy who would be our liaison for the entire evening.
Working off the script that Tim gave us, Carl and Amy went over just what our obligations for the evening were. The only thing that could possibly alter it would be the rain.
Being ready early, Carl and I had the opportunity to walk around the stadium as the vendors were getting set up, and the ball players were loosening up for the game.
The cute little stadium was alive with activity as it readied itself for fans to descend upon it in earnest. The sky darkened and the rain began to fall, just as the doors opened for the evenings’ battle.
Each pavilion, including the one we were under started to fill, even though the sky was not about to cooperate.
Since it was Irish Heritage Night at the O’l ball-park, our job was to bring some Irish flavor to America’s pastime, if only for the evening. We were to begin at 6:30 and play until 7:05. During the game, and again after its completion.
As 6:30 approached, we began right on schedule, with The Whistling Gypsy. (Our traditional first set, first Irish song). The sound was perfect as our feed went through our equipment to the stadium sound booth and out to the PA speakers in the stands.
Our thirty minute set was quickly over and we were ready to have the teams take the field right before the game was to begin. Mother Nature, however, had other ideas. The rain that had been just a tiny mist, soon turned to a downpour that had to be truly reckoned with. Fans took cover, and the tarp was put back in place to protect the infield integrity.
We volunteered to play some more, and soon were knee deep in Irish favorites once again. Carl and I entertained for another forty five minutes; just enough time to see the rain abate and the two teams get ready again to take the field.
Before we knew it, the first pitch was finding it’s way to the catcher’s mitt; just about an hour later than it should have.
Now that the game was in motion, we would follow the script; playing minute and a half snippets of Irish tunes throughout the night. With Amy coordinating when to begin and end with the booth upstairs, everything was going according to plan.
Until the rain returned.
Between the very first inning, another wet cell moved over head, to let u all know, once more who was really in charge. (No, it wasn’t Rick).
It didn’t last long at least, and before you knew it, we were playing ball once more.
Once the game resumed, it began to move along quit nicely. We played between or after each inning, interspersed with other announcements or give-aways to the delight of the hearty fans.
In the fourth inning, it was The Unicorn Song, echoing through the stands. In the seventh, we took The Rocky Road To Dublin.
Before we knew it, the kids were running the bases, after the game concluded, to the sounds of A Nation Once Again.
It was a very interesting evening. The rain didn’t make it easy; however, anything worth doing right, seldom comes easy. We had several people take the time to thank us for our music and our presence at the event.
We need to thank, Rick, Tim and most of all, Amy, who worked so hard with Carl to make the night special for everyone involved.
Hopefully we will be back next season to entertain once again. We love the stadium, the staff and most of all the enthusiastic fans.
We even had one fan who came all the way from her seat to request a special song. She was all smiles as we played Galway Girl, just for her. Even the rain couldn’t keep her from feeling her Irish heritage on this wonderful night.