Once in awhile one has a terrible evening. I had one this past Wednesday.
I had hoped for a wonderful evening. My spirits were high; my expectations for fun, excitement and adding joy to my life were great.
I had tickets to the Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle comedy event.
It was scheduled to take place in a brand new, 11,000 seat arena in Palm Desert, California. It was the first ever event in the new $500 million privately financed arena, which was primarily designed to be the home for the American Hockey League’s Coachella Valley Firebirds, the farm club for the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken.
What could go wrong?
- The event started an hour and a half late!!! Not at 7:30, but at 9pm on a Wednesday midweek night.
- During this 1.5 hour wait, I, and everyone else in the arena, could not look at or use their cell phone. The reason was that our cell phones were disabled prior to being allowed to enter the arena. Yes, you read that correctly. No cell phones were allowed in the arena during the performances. To enter, I had to give my cell phone to a person who put the cell phone in a leather pouch and then “locked” the packet, to be reopened by them when I left the arena.
- The reason the performance was delayed 1.5 hours was because a significant number of the sold out 11,000 people who had purchased tickets for the performance were stuck in traffic jams and unable to get a parking spot. Even with the 1.5 hour delay in starting the performance a number of people with tickets missed the entire performance because of the traffic and parking problems with the new arena.
- What did attendees do during the 1.5 hour delay? Some of them purchased alcoholic drinks. This may have lead to as many as four disturbances in the crowd during the performances of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. One of the disturbances took place just two rows behind where I was sitting. It was a verbal altercation between attendees. It got louder and louder. It continued for seemingly many, many minutes. It seemed like it could erupt into fisticuffs at any moment. It was so disruptive and disorienting while the performances were continuing. Finally, several other attendees around the area raised their voices and told them to shut up. The situation finally seemed to calm down. Security was no where in sight.
- For those who purchased drinks during the event, the price of the drinks came as a bit of a shock. A can of beer was $16. A bottle of water was $6. Holy cow! I can buy 24 bottles of water in the supermarket for $3.54. egad!
- The opening acts before Chris and Dave, the headliners, came out were less than stellar. For example, one of the acts had two individuals singing hip-hop/rap music. I, for one, could not understand one word of the songs that were being sung. Maybe it was the acoustics, maybe it was the microphones, maybe it was the speed of the words being said, maybe it was my hearing. But, in any case, I could not understand one word.
- The performances of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle frankly did not elicit a lot of laughter from me. To be fair, a lot of the individuals in seats near me did laugh. But I did not most of the time. By the time they got on stage, I was pretty well turned off on the event. Having said that, to me the jokes were just not funny.
- For me, part of the reason for not laughing and not enjoying the headliners was the use of the F*** word. It seemed like every other word was the F*** word. The other reason for me was the unending use of the N***** word.
- Finally, going home was a unmitigated disaster. It took me 1.5 hours to go 9 miles. It normally should take 19 minutes. It took 90 minutes. It took almost an hour to just get out of the parking lot. Clearly the parking and traffic control plans for the opening night of the new arena were grossly inadequate. An unmitigated disaster!!!
- And one more thing. I got to bed at 1:30am. I left my home at 6pm for a 7:30pm performance. The entire event from start to finish took me 7 hours. Holy cow!
Normally, I am glass half full type of guy. Always seeing the positive, the potential, the opportunity. But, in this case, I have to admit that this was a terrible evening. Very few, if any, redeeming qualities or moments.
To use the kind of language the performers use, s*** happens.