Hopping Mad: Fans disappointed when concert shut down

Toadies, fans surprised, disappointed when police shut down concert
By Daralyn Schoenewald

Texas band the Toadies tweeted to tell the world about their Friday night stop at Abilene’s Midnight Rodeo 3. “Tonight, the Abilene Police shut us down mid-set. Threatened to arrest us if we played one more song. Damn Bible Belt!” read the message or “tweet” to the microblogging Web site Twitter.com.

The group was shut down about 45 minutes into its set at the club Friday night, leaving the group — and its fans — disappointed, but Abilene police said that numerous complaints were received about the noise level and that jail is an option when someone continues to violate the noise ordinance.

The Toadies weren’t shut down because of their loud music, they were shut down at regular closing time of the club, Abilene Police Sgt. Craig Jordan said.

It works the same at a residence or a nightclub, Jordan said.

“When we get a noise complaint we show up at the scene. That first time we will warn the owner of the home or the manager of the club — whoever’s in charge — and advise them they need to quiet down. We go from there,” Jordan said. “If there are further complaints, we go from there. It can be anything from a citation to jail.”

Frank Pain, program director of Rock 108 in Abilene, also promoted the show. He said in a voice message that the group took the stage later than it should have and that’s why it was asked to leave before the set was finished.

“They weren’t shut down mid-set. They were shut down before their last song. The curfew was based on bar time. They took the stage too late, all on their own discretion. There was nothing we could do. It was just a matter of abiding by the law and making sure everything was shut down. After we turned off the PA, played acoustic one more song for the remainder of the crowd. … It was a good show.”

But the Toadies say no one told them they would have to shut down, leaving them in shock when they were told by a club representative halfway through their set they would go to jail if they made another sound.

“That’s what we were told. We don’t want to go to jail. We don’t want anyone to go to jail,” lead singer Vaden Todd Lewis said from his cell phone as the group traveled Saturday to its next show in New Mexico. “We have a strict rule that we do what we can to not go to jail. I just don’t understand how the communication broke down that we were immediately threatened with arrest.

“We’re not blaming anyone, but there was a lot of bad communication. It was a bad situation narrowly avoided. This hasn’t really happened before (being shut down). Not this exact thing. It was unexpected and jarring.”

The group tried to appease the fans who remained after they stopped playing by performing a few songs acoustically, something their manager Tami Thomsen said they rarely do live.

“They don’t really do acoustic, but they know it’s hard for some people to find the money to go to a show. The band wants to play. I’m happy to hear they went back and made the best of it.”

Lewis said the main objective was to “keep everything calm.”

“But people were mad. I was mad. It would be an easy thing to do, to say ‘(Expletive) the cops. Screw it. We’re leaving,’ but we talked about it quickly and decided our main job is to entertain and make sure people have a good time. Starting a fight wouldn’t do that,” Lewis said.

Abilene resident Brian Murray, 32, said he has seen the Toadies perform live at least 12 times before Friday’s show. He said he was “thrilled to death” to hear they were coming to town but wonders if they will ever return.

“We’re big time concert-going people,” Murray said of him and his wife, Tiffany. “We go to Dallas and try to go to all the ones here we can, but when this happens, it makes you not want to go. That’s somebody’s job to let them know. Maybe Midnight Rodeo didn’t tell them, because they looked completely surprised” when asked to leave stage.

Not returning to Abilene is not an option for the Toadies, Lewis said.

“The bottom line for the band is it’s all about the fans. They’re the ones who pay to see us. It’s too bad someone down the street had a beef, but the show must go on, and that’s that we did,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll come back and do a proper show.”


9 Responses to “Hopping Mad: Fans disappointed when concert shut down”

  1. ted weitzman on April 14th, 2009

    What songs were played acoustically? Can anyone who was at the show please respond. Also, bummed that the LA show was cancelled, but even more sorry to hear that it was due to a family member’s death, esp. since my dad who was dying of cancer passed away five days after I saw you play last September at the Roxy. My deepest sympathies to the band.

  2. Eddie on April 14th, 2009

    Yea, I was going to get to see the toadies for the first time live. I’ve been a huge fan for over a decade and I was kicked out and threatened with jail time from the owner and the abilene police because my friend tried to break up a fight between a guy and his girlfriend or something to that affect. That bar has poor management and it was a huge dissapointment for me, I got to see 1 song from the toadies that night. That’s the last time I get a group of friends together to go to the Midnight Rodeo 3, (worst bar in Abilene). I hope that bar shuts down. Hopefully someone can let Chevelle know before they make the mistake of playing there!!

  3. Eddie on April 14th, 2009

    I was kicked out of the show too, after getting to hear 1 song. I’ve been a huge toadies fan for over a decade and I finally got a chance to see them live. I was told to leave when I explained to the Abilene Police department and the owner of the Midnight Rodeo 3 that he was trying to break up a fight between a guy and his girlfriend or something to that affect and the owner told me, my wife and another friend of mine to leave if we were associated with him. No if ands or buts I needed to leave the premises they said or I was getting arrested along with the rest of my friends. That bar has poor management and it shouldn’t even be allowed to stay opened, there has been fights and shootings at that place since it opened up under that name. Bad Place, I will never go there again. Hopefully someone can let Chevelle know about that place before they make the mistake of playing there. Let me know when you come back here, somewhere better next time though!

  4. Brian Murray on April 14th, 2009

    They played Tyler and I Burn acoustically. I am still unsure whether there were actual noise complaints or not. If you read that article on the reporter news, there are people that say they heard the show from several blocks away. One such jackass says he could hear it from N. 6th and Willis. I call bullshit.

  5. David on April 14th, 2009

    I was there. Even though the cops shut us down, it was the best concert ever because of the acoustic. I have been to edgefest and ozzfest and several others. This 1 hour toades set kicks all of them out of the water. I still had chill bumps the morning after the concert. To answer your question they played “Tyler” and “Burn”. at least it think it was burn. i could be wrong on that one. And when they started off the set with “i come from the water” it was awesome. The first time i ever heard the toadies was that song when i was about 9 or 10. the whole reason i keep rocking to them. If yall read this then kick ass show and keep it up. Me and a friend that went to the show with me are going to drive the 7 hours to corpus on the 9th just to go to yalls show again. Yall Rock!!!!!

  6. Gary on April 15th, 2009

    Everyone should be amazed that a band like this is still around. Its a rare thing for bands to still care and or connect with the fans.

  7. sean bailey on April 15th, 2009

    There were no noise complaints…I was there, I am the bands tour manager…I specifically asked the promoter if there was a sound curfew, was told not really, and everyone know in advance what time we were hitting the stage–10:30 just as we had for 6 other shows by the same promoter….It was not shut down because of “noise” complaints, nor was it past bar time….it was 11:30….In Abilene, they really didn’t need a reason, what they say goes…We had even spoke personally to some of the police there, (who were fans) and they had no idea why it had happened…Not one rep from the club, the police, or the promoter said one thing about when noise was to be terminated, otherwise we whould have adjusted set times accordingly.

  8. Brian Murray on April 15th, 2009

    I have talked to a few people that I know (and trust) who live a few blocks away. They didn’t make any complaints, but they did say that you could hear the band clearly from their houses. My problem with this whole situation is that nobody here in Abilene even wants to acknowledge the problem. If it was too loud, let’s use and indoor venue. If it was too late, let’s change the bar rules. I wrote a letter to the editor on Saturday morning which at this time is still unpublished. I also spent about 20 minutes talking to a reporter which amounted to that tiny blurb in the article. This whole situation doesn’t sit well with me. There is another show at the same venue on Sunday. I will be curious to see how everything goes. As someone who has seen the Toadies over a dozen times, I really hope they will not let this incident from coming back here. Of course I wouldn’t blame them.

  9. Lana on April 15th, 2009

    I was also there. It was a horrible disappointment when they were shut down. Thank-you Toadies for finishing the best you could – what a novel ending! We got to meet them afterward so it turned out to be one of the best shows I’ve ever been to! Abilene should really reconsider that noise ordinance when it comes to shows – it could hit them in the pocket book!