Friday, June 01, 2012

Merriweather Rocks!

It’s been awhile since I last attended a concert at Merriweather. It’s not that I haven’t been interested in any of the shows; it has more to do with my general dislike of navigating through big crowds, particularly once a show is over.

I still don’t care for the post show exit herd but last night it was a small price to pay for an otherwise perfect evening in downtown Columbia. The weather was perfect and the sellout performance by the Zac Brown Band was as about as good as it gets.
I have a very long history with Merriweather. The first show I ever attended was The Who in the summer before I went to high school. Later I went on to work at the outdoor theatre every summer until I graduated from college. I was an usher, security guard, groundskeeper and stagehand. Working at Merriweather was the best job(s) I ever had.

It’s changed a good deal since the years I worked there, mostly for the better. Columbia and HoCo owes a debt of gratitude to Seth Hurwitz and Jean Parker for breathing new life into Merriweather after the former promoter almost almost ran it into the ground. Kudos also go out to Ian Kennedy and Justin Carlson who launched the Save Merriweather effort back in 2003. Nowadays Merriweather is poised to play a starring role in the makeover of Columbia’s urban core.
It sure bought life to downtown last night. Before the show, Union Jack’s patio was hopping with concert goers. At 11:00 PM, as we headed back to our cars, it was still going on.
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