The infamous Fire Alarm Show. This was a pretty wild one. The venue is very nice and ornate. They were used to having plays and symphonies there, hence the 70 year old security women and “no smoking of any kind” rule.
My friends and I went in the venue and found our seats, which were about fifteen rows back from the stage. I then decided to hit up the bathroom before the show. This was my first indicator that the Cincinnati Music Hall would not know what hit them after this concert. I went in the men’s room door and it was a big cloud of smoke! There was a security guard (yes, a 70 year old woman) yelling at the kids to put out their hand rolled cigarettes, and go back to their seats. It was like getting caught by grandma doing something really bad. I thought she was going to start grabbing our ears and taking us to the principal's office. But low and behold, everyone just bolted out and scrambled in different directions.
After this experience I decided to just go back to my seat and take my chances there. The show started. Seconds later the mob of people took all the chairs on the lower floor and stacked them on the ground. At this point Grandma and her cohorts had run for cover. The whole place started filling
up with smoke. It was complete anarchy (but in a wholesome, not-looking-for-real-trouble kind of anarchy). Trust me, I know good Anarchy and bad Anarchy. I’ve seen Guns and Roses a couple times.
So as far as the music went, it was good until the middle of “Horse”. The lights went on and the fire alarm went off. I have two theories about this: there was so much smoke the ire alarm went off, or somebody set it off. Regardless, we were forced to evacuate, even though we all knew darn well there was no fire, or at least not yet.
So we filed outside and all discussed whether the show would go on or not. Then came the announcement that we could go back in. The only good part of this evacuation was that if you didn’t have a ticket you could go in for free.
Everyone got back in and the band came back out, and Trey made an announcement: “The fire marshal (not Tom) says that if there is any more smoking of any kind, the show will be over.” Then the band went into a ripping version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”.
The other part of the show that was pretty memorable to me was the acoustic part. “Ginseng Sullivan”, “BBFCFM” reprise, and “Dog Faced Boy” were a lot of fun to hear acoustic. I think that is the only acoustic “BBFCFM” I have ever heard, but hopefully not the last.
All in all it was a very chaotic experience. But fun.
Note: During “My Friend My Friend”, a buddy I went to show with (who was delirious) tried to convince me that he set off the fire alarm with his mind, and Phish was playing “My Friend” because we were all mad he set off the alarm and messed up the show. He then left the show. If anyone can prove or disprove this, let me know.