PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ (September 13, 2008)
[img_assist|nid=801|title=Jars of Clay|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=233|height=175]When I arrived at the venue, I could hear the sound of Red wafting over the hill. They had just hit the stage. Yet the parking lot was still quite empty. And the folks outside did not seem to want to rush inside to catch the short set. In fact, many folks were having a tailgate party. I felt like screaming out, “Hey everyone! Go inside and see Red! It’s worth it!”
In the end, I did not make it to my seat in time before the set was over. Later, I found out that Red was added to certain Music Builds dates in hopes of increasing ticket sales. Instead, the band is playing for a small audience. I am not sure how many Third Day fans like Red and some that made it inside early may have been blown away. As for me, I like both bands. And I hope Red doesn’t end up taking the route of Third Day – mellowing their music with the years. But I digress.
For this date, I had purchased tickets early, and I was resolute to experience one show from close up. So, in a spontaneous move during the pre-ticket sales, I scored fifth row seats in the most expensive section. One section and a few rows behind, and I would have paid probably two-thirds of what I paid. But there was no turning back.
From where I stood, I could not tell right away how quickly the amphitheater was being filled. Later I walked up to visit my friend with lawn tickets, and I could count on my hand the number of groups on the lawn. And by the end of the show, the lawn was still sparse, though the seats seemed full. I pondered whether or not the ticket sales of this tour were as originally hoped. Will the Music Builds tour become an annual event? Will it come back next year with a side stage? Later, in talking with Tai Anderson of Third Day, I found out that the early idea to have a side stage was nixed in part due to low ticket sales versus the cost of bringing along another stage production team.
The crowd age demographics was similar to the Ohio show. With Robert Randolph hailing from New Jersey, he was welcomed by many in the crowd. And Jars of Clay kept the audience alive as well. Yet once again I had a difficult time determining whether or not more Third Day or Switchfoot fans were in the house. But I am certain that the two older couples on either side of me were no[img_assist|nid=807|title=Third Day|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=243|height=183]t huge Switchfoot fans. During their set, I jumped up and down and got into the songs, but felt a bit alone as my surroundings were standing (or sitting) still. Must have looked funny from the stage.
For this Switchfoot meet and greet, I first met up with a bunch of fans that I know from the message boards and shows. The line was much longer than in Ohio. The setup was still the same – wait in line, miss Third Day, get pictures with Switchfoot. Though the time to chat with the guys was a bit longer, so this one may not make my “greet and leave” list.
I was not able to bring in my good camera, though I did get some good shots with my point and shoot. Stay tuned for our full report (with photos) on this show from inReview Jersey-ite Annie.