The Show Must Go On - myfoxcarolinas.com

The Show Must Go On

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There’s a lot that goes into making a concert successful; everything from stage and lighting to the actual performance itself. When you throw in a winter storm like we’ve seen over the past few days, it doesn’t help the process.

Here’s how it works.

After a gig is booked, properly planned and promoted – the band travels to the gig. The road crew spends hours unloading gear to the stage and setting things up. The soundman gets dialed in. The band waits – and waits some more. The band then sound-checks for at least an hour – and then waits some more.

Then, finally – the performance.

The hot band in town tonight is named Lettuce – and they are one of the funkiest bands on the planet. Members have toured and performed with pop artists like Lady Gaga, Dr. Dre and Britney Spears – but this is where they shine.

This is their first performance in Charlotte, as Lettuce.

“In the past we had so many other things going on, we weren’t able to hit all these different markets,” drummer Adam Deitch said. “But 2014 is the year we’re going to hit all the places we want to and Charlotte was right on top.”

The band has a new album out titled, “Fly”, which is available on their website and music sites across the web. They will be performing at more times in the month of February, alone – hitting Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, New York and even Canada.

Hitting in Charlotte – they did not expect to run into “Snowmageddon”. The club in Raleigh they were going to play on Feb. 13 was forced to cancel due to weather – but the band fought through conditions to make it to Charlotte.

Before arriving at their hotel, their large tour bus became stuck in the snow.

“The kind people here in Charlotte came out and helped us and put tree branches underneath our wheel, had shovels, were helping us out,” guitarist Adam Smirnoff said.

The weather shut down what should have been large-crowded shows on Feb. 13 – Trey Anastasio at The Fillmore and Snarky Puppy at The Neighborhood Theater.

“It’s a major headache,” said Zach McNabb – talent buyer at The Chop Shop where Lettuce is performing. “It’s a headache for everybody. Here’s the band, they’re out on tour – everybody’s got financial obligations they’re trying to take care of and we’re just trying to put on the best show as possible.”

But weather is just one small piece to the touring musician’s puzzle. Most people aren’t aware of all the struggles that go into being on the road and making a show run smoothly.

“I think it’s probably similar to how people think of models or actors,” bassist Erick Coomes said. “And think their life is totally breezy and they just stand there and look good or whatever – but there’s kind of a lot of hard work that goes into it.”

Guitarist Smirnoff agrees, but adds that being away from family is the hardest part. Music comes easy.

“I’ve said before that I play music for free,” Smirnoff said. “I get paid to leave the house and the travel and to leave my family behind.”

But regardless of the weather and any other obstacle thrown their way – this is what they love to do – feed off the energy that a crowd brings to a concert.

And the show must go on.

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