My First MAMAs Experience

Saturday, May 9 was a day of firsts.  First MAMAs show at the Overture Center.  First time for capturing pre-show red carpet interviews.  It was also the first MAMAs awards show for yours truly.  The annual music awards show is in its 7th year running, and I wanted to blog a day-in-the-life of a MAMAs staffer shadowing Matt Jacoby to try to capture the energy of the day.  Here are some highlights:

7:58 I grab coffee at Espresso Royale Cafe while Matt calls the security staff at the Overture Center to let us in.  We’re early.

8:10 Matt and I enter the Capitol Theater through the load-in entrance.  We proceed to the stage to explore the space.

8:20 Load-in of drums, amps, and equipment begins as we greet members of the Overture Center security staff as well as Rick.

9:00 I take a quick breather in the smaller green room back stage while Matt and Rick move equipment vehicles.  We’re in the interesting position of having an extra 50″ TV.  Will we find a use for it?  Will we have time to plan for this?  It looks to be a very busy day.

9:09 Matt and I begin camera setup in lobby.  All parts are present and appear to be ready to go…  It seems as if we’re still ahead of schedule.  A solid start!

9:19 A pow-wow meeting with Matt and we head to the stage.  I hit my head on the low-hanging stage lights as I type this blog entry on my smart phone.

9:47 Walking around trying to navigate the backstage labyrinth.  The security guards here are friendly and helpful.  They smile as MAMAs folks stop to concentrate on directional signs and then scurry off to get where they need to go.

9:58 Bands begin sound-checking and more staff is begining to fill the house.

10:19 After working on the Local Sounds lobby table setup, we break to listen to Whitney Mann soundcheck and discuss our next moves.

10:51 Matt and I plug in camera in the entry way to the Capitol Theater and do a couple mock interviews to test our setup.  So far, so good!

11:03 Next we test the lighting units.

11:47 Milios subs run for food for crew…  Gotta eat.

12:20 Take a minute to eat some cheese curds from the fine Madison farmers market and enjoy sound check music.

1:03 Cheese curds and sound check music…

1:43 Sound check music and cheese curds…

4:32 I head to the lobby to coordinate with Overture Center technical director, house manager, and master carpenter… It’s getting close to showtime and we need pipes and signage and stantions (oh my…)

5:10 Pizza break while printing signs, show scripts, and line-uos.

6:03 Out in the entry way on red carpet camera.  Ready to roll as artists and attendees file into the Capitol Theater.

6:23 The band The No and Maybe Game enters with a cardboard dolphin.

7:00 Jimmy fires up the organ. Let the 7th annual MAMAs begin!

7:25 Crushin’ All Force fires into a energized dance number.

7:28 Greg Riss is both impressive and delicate in a light piece.

7:32 Good News First rocks the stage.  Their cool, confident stage presence has many in the crowd nodding in approval and tapping their toes.

7:38 Our host John Urban is introduced and offers a few quick quips and humor for all in attendance.

7:43 dumate passionately performs an original piece.

7:51 New performing artist of the year, Whitney Mann!   Very talented singer and band.

7:59 John Masino wins guitarist of the year.  Well done John!

8:02 The Mamas All Star Fusion Band fills the stage with an eclectic band and fills the house with a vibrant tune.

8:11 Teacher of the Year award.

8:20 Beth Kille takes home Folk/Americana song of the year.

8:29 Sunspot fires into the second half of a high-impact double set of songs.

8:58 V05 electrifies with 70s grooves.

9:12 Whitney Mann is as cool as ice as the crowd swoons in approval.  The singer and band silences the crowd with a calm, crooning set.

9:24 Jim Fleming takes home the Lifetime Achievement Award with a heartfelt acceptance speech.

9:32 Lucas Cates Band!  Last year’s big winner with more accolades this year.

9:43 After a well done tribute to Madison artists who have passed Aaron Williams thrills with a bluesy number.

9:58 Stereocolor brings a smile as a talented, young, and (now) award-winning WAM band.

10:12 Madison County performs and reminds all to “enjoy the ride…”.

10:26 MAMAs Chairman Roy Elkins announces Yamaha’s wonderful contribution.

10:38 We all “Drift Away” as musicians and staffers take the stage for a final, combined jam.

(This post was written by Local Sounds team member Eric from New York.  He was able to join us for this year’s Madison Area Music Awards.  Thanks for the contribution Eric!)

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