Last week, Artist Garden Entertainment had the privilege of accompanying Rudy Vaughn, an artist we recently added to our management roster, on a trip to London. Rudy won the Hard Rock Cafe Ambassadors of Rock contest securing him a spot on the Hard Rock Calling festival in London. What an incredible opportunity, as Rudy played on a the bill along side Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and The Killers. Rudy and his band-mates have played out quite a bit but never to an audience of 50k. I could sense a bit of anxiety in the band as they knew this was their shot at the Big Show. Pull it off well and there will be more big shows in the future but choke and it could be the last shot at the Big Show. There were two shows scheduled for the band including one on the main stage on Saturday and then an additional show on the 2nd stage on Sunday.
Saturday was needless to say a bit stressful. As the band showed up for sound check, they quickly found out that there would be little or no sound check as Live Nation’s production team was operating festival style.. Rudy’s guitar player, Shane, plugged in his amp head and smoke immediately began to billow out of the back. A closer examination revealed that one of the tubes had been plugged into the wrong slot by mistake after being removed for the long flight across the pond. Next, the band would realize that the computer they use for additional tracks wouldn’t work the way it is supposed to. A little more stress kicked in as the stage manager began to yell frantically that they were on in three minutes. Just as things seemed like they couldn’t go worse, Rudy realized that the pick-up in his acoustic guitar was not working. As their manager, I began to get a little nervous. Could Rudy and the band overcome the obstacles or was disaster imminent? And then Rudy met face to face with a major milestone in his career. Rudy and the band performed as if there were no problems and they sounded absolutely amazing! They brought their “A Game” and nothing would stop them, not even technical difficulties. Rudy Vaughn was without a doubt ready for the Big Show. CNN International News was waiting for the band at the dressing room immediately after the show looking to do a live interview feed which aired around the world. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/showbiz/2009/06/27/boulden.uk.hyde.park.vaughn.cnn?iref=videosearch
This experience made me wonder how many bands looking for their shot really understand what it takes to play the Big Show? It’s much different than playing to 100-200 people in a club. The pressures are much greater and there is a high level of talent needed to play on the same stage as Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews. Fortunately, Hard Rock and the artist judges saw the star quality and level of talent that Rudy and the band possess. One never knows when a similar opportunity may present itself. Are you ready for the Big Show?