Monday, July 18, 2011

VIDEO: Robin Zander of Cheap Trick assesses Ottawa stage collapse scene

Cheap Trick escaped injury at the Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday evening when a storm caused the main stage to collapse during the band’s set.

The sudden and violent storm swept through the site about 20 minutes into Cheap Trick’s set. During a press conference Monday, organizers said 8 people were injured: five were hospitalized for their injuries but were later released.

"We are so thankful," band manager Dave Frey tells Rolling Stone.

According to Frey, the sudden windstorm that brought down the main stage at the festival came as a surprise. "They said that we should be looking out for a storm but it wasn't really that apparent," he says. "I was actually on stage behind the drummer and I was taking a few pictures right before it happened. The air was still and it was humid and then out of nowhere, this wind hit that was just huge. The local news sources are saying 96 miles per hour, another one said like a hundred and something."

"It just blew everything back, cymbals are flying and everything,”
continued Frey. “And we're just like 'get off the stage!' and then I heard the rivets in the truss just starting to pop. BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! It was like the Titanic or something, and it just started coming down, the roof fell," he recalls. "It hit our truck, which was parked behind the stage and that kept it about five feet off of the deck, and that gave us room to run. We were running as fast as we could."

A Cheap Trick truck driver sustained an injury to his abdomen and a cracked femur, and they lost all of their equipment. "Everything is gone. The gear is crushed and it's soaked, and it's part of an investigation with the police department, the fire department and the Ministry of Labor here," Frey says. "We're trying to get gear set up for our show tomorrow (Monday) in Buffalo. Do you know where we can rent a five-neck guitar?"

Hours after the incident, the band posted a message on its facebook site, telling fans: “We are SOOOO lucky! Everyone is shaken up but band and crew are all fine. Cheap Trick hopes that everyone who attended the show is also ok.,” later adding, “Fortunately the band and crew are all lucky to be alive and we'll see you down the road. And all the best to our truck driver Sandy."

In a chilling new video released Monday by the band, singer Robin Zander captures the immediacy of the aftermath by narrating video shot with his cell phone.

“We got out alive, folks” says Zander, adding, “Look at that stage,” before yelling “Whoa, lightning! Heavy lightning!” as the severe weather continued to threaten the onsite clean up.

Robin then continues to explore the area, coming across emergency personnel treating fallen Cheap Trick truck driver Sandy. Zander also explains his urgency and signal to fellow band members to get off the stage as he witnessed the oncoming storm.

For more video and details, click here.

Cheap Trick – Robin Zander assesses Ottawa stage collapse
Ottawa Bluesfest – Ottawa, ON – July 17, 2011

See also:

VIDEO: Cheap Trick cut short as Ottawa Bluesfest stage collapses during storm
VIDEO: Cheap Trick rock NHL post-game in Tampa Bay
VIDEO: Cheap Trick guitarist joins Slash in Chicago
VIDEO: Cheap Trick rock Conan