Friday night was like any regular Friday night at the Saving Country Music headquarters when not out among the proletariat taking in a show: watch some Shark Tank, make up a huge platter of hamburgers like Wimpy from Popeye, and gorge myself to the point of passing out in pool of gluttony and self-loathing. Hey, being a writer is a lonely, lonely life.
Then all of a sudden my inbox starts blowing up like Booger Red had just died.
“Dude, what’s up with your boy in Atlanta?”
“My boy?” I answer.
The context here is that the last time Sturgill Simpson played Atlanta, it kind of turned into a bad situation. At the Terminal West show on October 10th, 2014, Sturgill was sick, the sound sucked on stage, and his dog had just died. Sturgill uncharacteristically let the culmination of all of these events get to him, and after about seven songs performed through grumbles, he left the stage, promising to make it up to Sherman’s tinder box in the future.
The show Friday night (10-23) at the beloved Tabernacle in Atlanta was Sturgill’s chance to make it up. And lo and behold he was sick again.
Sturgill Simpson was sick to the point where he could barely sing. Immediately upon taking the stage, he apologized to the crowd, said he was suffering from severe allergies and would make it up to them at a makeup show on December 7th. And then Sturgill decided to do something unprecedented in country music, and I’m not talking about pontificating on hallucinogenic drug trips in song.
Sturgill Simpson decided to turn Atlanta’s Tabernacle into the hottest Karaoke bar in town that night.
After trying to sing the first song, Sturgill began to invite folks from the crowd up on the stage to sing the songs for him. As you can imagine, this plan garnered mixed reviews. Some thought it was awesome, and a unique experience they will never forget, and appreciated that Sturgill at least tried to do something entertaining as opposed to canceling last minute. And others, including fans who had attended the previous Atlanta show, and some of which had traveled from out of town, were less forgiving.
Here’s where I do the stupid thing of embedding Tweets to show the varying opinions on what happened Friday night:
Jay Cooper (@jayacoop) October 24, 2015
Sturgill simpson blaming allergies for an abbreviated show in Atlanta. 2 years in a row. Yep my last time trying. M A Fitzgerald (@afitz66) October 24, 2015
Tonight was further proof there is no one in the music industry like Sturgill Simpson. He is The Man. #sturgillsimpson
Victor (@Sandman1035) October 24, 2015
So there you go. If you were in the crowd in Atlanta, how you took it seems to be dependent on your state of mind, if it was your second strike with Sturgill or the first, or perhaps the level of psilocybin mushrooms in your system. Either way, the dude has promised to make it up on December 7th, so bit your quitchen I guess. Turns out musicians are humans too, even the illustrious Sturgill who otherwise can leap tall buildings and shoot laser beams out of his eyeballs on opposition to the forces of “Bro-Country.” It does suck that Atlanta has received a double dose of the bad news though. Two tough shows in as many years, and they both happen in The Big Peach. It’s the pits.
Here’s Sturgill’s official statement:
Due to vocal problems stemming from allergies, Sturgill’s performance tomorrow night, October 24 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta has been rescheduled and tonight’s performance will be replayed. Both performances will be rescheduled on December 7 & 8. Fans with tickets to the October 23 performance will be honored on December 7 while patrons holding tickets to the cancelled October 24 show will be honored on December 8. Anyone wishing to receive a refund for the October 23 & 24 shows can receive a full refund at the point of purchase at any time between now and December 5.We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. Best efforts were made for both shows to take place as scheduled. Tonight, under the heading of the show must go on, Sturgill and the band gave it a go but it became apparent after taking the stage that he would be unable to sing in a manner that the fans deserved. Instead of pulling the plug and sending everyone home, Sturgill announced to the crowd what was happening and that they were going to get a different show than they had come for but that everyone in attendance would be entitled to a make up show on December 7. To reiterate, anyone who purchased a ticket to either the October 23 or 24 show is entitled to a full refund at point of purchase prior to December 5, or they will be able to attend the make-up shows on December 7 & 8. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your support as well as your kind understanding.
And hey, some very lucky bastards got to sing with Sturgill. I’m still cheesed by Shark Tank viewing got interrupted though. How you going to make that up Sturg? HUH?