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KDWB Star Party: Some great music but epic production problems

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Behind the scenes Updated: May 21, 2010 - 3:24 AM

 

 

Party girl-turned-pop star Ke$ha carried on with silly, campy fun

Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace

 

This year’s KDWB Star Party had all the makings of a great event: Arguably the best Star Party lineup ever, a downtown Minneapolis location and a modest-sized, somewhat stylish venue.
But Star Party at Epic nightclub on Thursday turned into an epic nightmare:
* The doors opened nearly 45 minutes late (because acts were still doing sound checks) and people stood in a line that stretched around three sides of a block.
*I guess the soundchecks didn’t healp much. Te sound system had more intermittent failures than the cellphone in the “can you hear me now” commercial. The sound  didn’t work properly for some of the artists, and it even went on the fritz playing recorded music and videos between live performances.
*The stage was not as big as those at the defunct Myth or Mystic Lake Casino (sites of recent Star Parties; however,Star Parties did take place at Epic in its previous incarnation as the Quest). Thus, without room to maneuver and set up in advance, there was too much time spent switching equipment between acts. Scheduled 15-minute set changes stretched to 30 and 40 minutes.
*The number of times that ear-splitting feedback exploded out of the PA speakers was unacceptable.
*KDWB waited too long to have one of its DJs (Lucas) explain and apologize for the extra-long technical delay before Taio Cruz.
* Cruz had two false starts before walking off stage again and then returning to sing one song a cappella. It would have been more prudent to go a cappella after the first false start and then sing two songs.
*The air-conditioning seemed inadequate for a crowd of 2,300.
That said, tickets were free (given away to KDWB listeners). So Star Party-goers couldn’t ask for a refund, though some told me they would have if they’d paid for tickets.
 On the other hand, a greater percentage of people stuck around for Ke$ha, the star attraction and closing act, compared to  previous Star Parties when the final act played to less than half-full rooms.
So some Star Partiers cared about the music, which was hit-and-miss with many, many highpoints. To read my recap of the stars’ performances, click here.
What did you think of Star Party? The performances? The production? The venue?

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