Great White Gig Fiasco in R.I.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Just saw on the news that a club in Rhode Island where Great White played burnt to the ground. So far the death toll is 39. GW's guitarist is listed among the missing.

    RI TBers, post here to let us know you're ok (and how the community's holding up).
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
  3. Well, All things aside, i think things are pretty much fine here.. it was a bad mistake, i just hope the band start to realize the hazard and hire a technition
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I heard that this morning here. Brutal, man. Sounds like a pyro tech and a few others used pretty poor judgement.
  6. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Man, some things really tick me off. What I saw on the news last night and this morning is one of them.

    First, I can't believe the band used pyro in a small club like that. I don't know--they might've had somebody running pyro who's done it many times, but sometimes the professional thing is not to say, "yeah, we'll make it happen," but instead to be the "*******" who says, "no, this isn't a place for it."

    The club didn't have a permit for pyro use, and apparently for good reason. There's a reason for fire codes and permits and fire marshall inspections: so you don't kill and injure people who are simply coming out to catch some live music. It's the same reason why you use accepted rigging practices if you fly speakers, lights, or other gear, and not just wing it. Real pros don't treat safety as just more red tape to evade.

    I was surprised to learn that the fire apparently started when sparks from the pyro displays ignited some egg-crate foam on the ceiling. Why would they use non-flame-retardant foam on the ceiling? I don't know if this was the case at The Station, but some club operators will take down non-fire-rated soundproofing and decorative material just before the fire marshall comes to inspect, then put it back up afterwards. I hope that sleazy practice comes to an end now, too.

    This, and the Chicago incident just four days earlier, may turn out to be for club safety what the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire was for workplace fire safety a century ago: a real wake-up call.
  7. Oh s*&t. I was just reading this thread then it came on tv. Showed footage from inside as it happened that was filmed by someone filming for a safety video. Pyrotechnics either side of the stage started getting bigger and reaching the ceiling. Then it all just went from there. Whole place was in flames. Death toll up to 75 now :( And its expected to rise some more.
  8. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    :meh: From the video it looked like some cheap pyro that the band probably set up themselves. Bad BAd BAd judgement on their part.
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Fox News has just reported at 2:30 Pm, EST that the death toll for this catastrophe has risen to 85 making it the worst fire in the U.S. since the Waco tragedy.

    Great White guitarist John Longley is still missing.

    Having seen a video of the fire as it broke out (taken by a reporter who was coincidentally investigating club safety), I believe the video shows that the pyro shot too high for the low ceiling. It looks like it shot right up to the ceiling, setting it immediately on fire. Also, it may have been too close to the back of the stage and may have ignited the material there sending flames shooting to the ceiling. As the ceiling at stage level was very low, the fireworks had no place to go but forward over the crowd.

    What a terrible nightmare! When I think of all the times I have gone to clubs to see favorite bands or played in a club of dubious safety with my band, it just gives me the willies to imagine how that inferno must have played out. Just nothing short of a nightmare.

    The Chicago stampede was bad enough. I was caught in a Pearl Jam stampede at Miami's Centennial Park. That was horrible, but we were at least out doors. But I can just imagine the horror of being stampeded in a narrow stairway. But this firestorm is even worse because the smoke and fire obscured the exits so that people could neither see nor breathe. My heart aches for those victims and their families.
  10. Oh my God. I just saw a TV news report of it.......

    words cannot express my horror...... sheesh.

    :( :( :( :(

    I can't believe it.
  11. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    My band had played at The Station many times. This club was VERY small. There really is only one door out (at the main entrance) because the other two doors are hidden (one is behind the stage and the other is in the kitchen).

    This tragedy is so sad because it is just plain stupid to use pyro in a club that was so little and had such low ceilings.

    The total is up to 95 now and my thoughts and prayers are with each vivtim and their families.:(
  12. My thoughts and prayers are with the many families struck by this tragedy. We had a similar incident in a club here in Minneapolis the day after the Chicago incident. The Fine Line Music Cafe sustained substantial damage but we are very fortunate that no one was hurt. Again, the pyrotechnics were the cause, and the band (name escapes me) did not have the clubs permission to use them. Bad, Bad Bad.

    Be safe, not stupid. Entertainment is good, putting people in danger is not.
  13. I'm sure I'm going to know someone who knew someone in that fire. So far, everyone here's a little shocked, but doing alright. RI is a small state, and families usually live pretty close to one another, I'll probably be hearing about it when I go back to school.
  14. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    I just played at the Station about 4 weeks ago. The club was one of the few I've played in my career that seemed to be on the "up-and-up". Everyone from the doorgirl to the soundman was professional and curtious, something I thought didn't exist in clubs!!!!!!
    I'd bet money that the club DIDN'T give permission to use pyro. Anyone who's got any sense would look around inside and go "nope......probably not a good idea". I'm only 5'8", and I can touch the ceiling onstage! Also, the whole place is kinda rustic, with LOTS of wooden floors and railings. It's a tragic loss, and my heart goes out to all of the families and friends of all of the victims. My band......TOPHEAVY is trying to put together a benefit show in Boston to help the victims and their families. We'll have all the details(and pics of me!) at
  15. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    I read that Great White hasnt been asking for permission.

    Here is a quote from msn nbc:

    ---->"The club’s owners say they were never told of Great White’s plan to use pyrotechnics, a claim echoed by at least four other venues where Great White played in the past month. "
  16. Amethska


    Jan 27, 2003
    NJ, USA
    This incident really hit me when i first heard it happened... it made me think of the little places I like to see bands play, and how that someday could happen to me... To anyone who lost someone in that fire, I'm really sorry it happened to you :(
  17. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
  18. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Also, on a side note, from the sound of what the media is reporting, it sounds like the club owners will be the main ones charged.

    We played a smaller club well over capacity with 1 known fire escape, and easily 350-400 people in there....packed like sardines. There was some female kiss tribute band there, that the owner was letting play at the end of the night, after the radio broadcast crew and all left.....they had a whole arsenal of pyro they were going to use, I gave them some **** about it, and my band played over till 1:45....leaving them 15 minutes to play, thankfully they skipped the pyro. I have read on their website they have been using it (with no training, tech, or common sense) in recent gigs since. I have emailed the state fire marshall the info, along with a link to their site talking about it, and the club names. Someone who can't see why firing a rocket off their guitar in a SMALL club is a bad idea, gets whatever they have coming to them.

    I can only hope that these latest trajedies from chi and RI will open people's eyes, and safety regulations will change. 300 people cannot possibly fit through a 36" door at once, use some sense people!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad: