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Home > ENTERTAINMENT > A police escort, 2 private jets and a last-minute miracle: Inside the crazy line to get Foo Fighters to Lakeview Amp

A police escort, 2 private jets and a last-minute miracle: Inside the crazy line to get Foo Fighters to Lakeview Amp

A police escort, 2 private jets and a last-minute miracle: Inside the crazy line to get Foo Fighters to Lakeview Amp

Syracuse, NY – One more minute and it would not have happened.

Since one of the season’s largest crowds on St.

The band was stuck on a runway at JFK airport, grounded by a stubborn fog that would not lift. It was 20:19 and the pilot had not received approval to start. It seemed impossible that they would reach Syracuse for the show.

Organizers at the Amphitheater then planned the communication. They asked the band to record a video that apologized for not doing so. They bought messages to the crowd and struggled with a tough question: How do we tell 15,000 crisp, eager fans to turn around and go home?

Even Dave Grohl, the hard-hitting frontman whose name is synonymous with rock ‘n roll, seemed ready to give up.

“We sat on that track for four f *** ing hours,” he said. “And we say, ‘maybe the show will not show tonight.’ “

Grohl said the band set a deadline: If they were not on their way to Syracuse before 8:20 p.m., the show would not happen.

8:15 rolled around. Then 8:16. 8:17. 8:18.

20:19 Grohl received a message from the pilot.

“They said, okay, we’re going to Syracuse,” he said. “We got a bad rock show.”

The drama of the delay and the will-they-want-the-excitement left the crowd on edge for hours and eventually burned a rolling, rocking two-hour set from one of rock’s most revered bands.

These were the things rock ‘n roll legends are made of.

Hours before Grohl and company finally came on stage, the organizers at St. Joseph’s Amphitheater with a series of decisions on whether to continue with the show.

Brian Donnelly, deputy for Onondaga County, said as people flocked to the parking lot, organizers learned the band was not yet in Syracuse.

They had a decision to take early in the evening: Do we open the gates and start letting people in even though the band is stuck on an asphalt in New York City? Or are we throwing in the towel now?

It was around noon. 18.10 They decided that the show should continue.

“We just knew they were late, no one knew if they would make it,” Donnelly said. “So we opened the gates.”

By 7.30pm, thousands of people were on site taking seats, ordering drinks, buying goods. But the Foo Fighters were still on a runway at JFK, drinking champagne and wondering if they could get here.

As the evening went on, it seemed increasingly likely that the band would not make it. Donnelly said he wanted to get as many people in the gates as possible if they were to send the crowd home. The last thing the organizers wanted was to collide with traffic: Thousands of people were still trying to get in, while thousands of others were trying to get out.

By 8 p.m., the lawn and shell were full. And the organizers made a plan to send everyone home.

Onondaga County director Ryan McMahon said Live Nation officials spoke to the band and asked them to record a video apologizing for not doing so. It could play on the big screens in the amphitheater and dampen the battle somewhat.

The logistics staff at the amphitheater worked on rearranging the entrance shafts to lead people out of the room, not in. They also discussed messages: What do we say to everyone?

McMahon – who said he was in Albany for a meeting but distracted with frequent updates about the show – said organizers were a minute away from announcing the announcement.

Then came the call. Foo Fighters were wheels up.

“We were preparing to get the artist to record a video, kind of apologize and get ready to play it and start logistical stuff to prepare for security,” McMahon said. “Right when [that announcement] was being made, they got the green light. ”

So the show continued. The opener Bambara took the stage at 20:30 – about 90 minutes according to plan. An advertiser prefaced their set with the first official word to fans about the band’s delay. The Foo Fighters were being held up at JFK, he said, but they were in the air and on their way.

While Bambara was playing, scramble began to get the Foo Fighters to the venue.

“There was massive relief, but you also still had a lot of events,” Donnelly said. “You’re on needles.”

McMahon said his office should decide how late the band could play. There is a noise ban that typically starts at. 23. The band would not even land in Syracuse until after 1 p.m. 9.

“The question that was our call to ask is how late they play,” McMahon said. “The team made the right call: They can play as late as they want and we will deal with consequences later.”

At least two sheriff’s deputies parked on the tarmac at Hancock International Airport awaiting a pair of private jets en route from downstate.

A Gulf Stream and a Cessna touched shortly after 9:20 p.m. According to CNYCentral’s Michael Benny, an air traffic controller welcomed the planes with a question:

“Is there a chance you have a band on board late for a concert?”

The parade of vehicles and flashing lights zoomed down Interstate 81 and right into the backstage area of ​​the amphitheater.

After four hours on the JFK sidewalk, a sprint of a flight and a crazy streak to the amphitheater, the band’s motorcade drove behind the stage in a parade of flashing lights. It was 21:46. The fans broke out.

Grohl said he got out of the car, put on a new pair of shoes and jumped on stage.

It was 9:56 pm – just the beginning of a show that steamed local curfews that lasted until midnight.

“You know we barely made it tonight!” he barked at the crowd before scrubbing out the lyrics to the opening song:

“It’s times like these that one learns to live again.”

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