What should I be doing instead of this?
by Mike Breen 02.20.2012
Posted In: Local Music at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

This Date In Music History: Feb. 20

Great White concert tragedy and Buffy Sainte-Marie's amazing journey

On this day in 2003, one of the deadliest concert/nightclub accidents ever occurred in West Warwick, RI, when pyrotechnics at the start of a show by ’80s rockers Great White sparked the flammable ceiling insulation and engulfed The Station club in less than six minutes. One hundred people died that night and more than 200 more were injured. It was one of the deadliest club fires in the U.S., but it increased awareness about concert safety, not unlike the 1979 Who concert in Cincinnati where 11 fans died in the crush to get into the venue. The Station tragedy is literally used as a worst case scenario example to train firefighters; the intense investigation also led to closer attention to safety procedures and crowd management in emergency situations. There's nothing worth the loss of those 100 Great White fans, but the lessons learned have probably saved many more.Pyrotechnics are still an old stand-by for many major touring acts at stadiums and coliseums; between fire codes, the insurance companies' interest and now technology, the pyro designers of the big Cincinnati shows by Paul McCartney (at Great American Ballpark) and Guns N Roses (at U.S. Bank Arena) last year proved that fans still love to watch shit blowin' up, as long as no one gets hurt. And those techs know their jobs as well as Paul and Axl know how to play, say, "Live and Let Die," the song during which both artists bring out the big booms. I wonder if they both use the same pyro guy, since the pyro routines are identical?Click the jump for "Born This Day" featuring video of a 1965 Buffy Sainte-Marie track sampled by Kanye West in 2004.

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