Here's the second episode of Manilow TV. This is the special Sunday Matinee we performed because of the legendary flood that happened on Friday evening, August 2nd.
The Friday show was supposed to be our first of three final concerts of the Manilow Live 2002 tour we had been on for 9 months. We were all feeling sad, but tired and ready to go home.
The day was beautiful.
Not a cloud in the sky.
No prediction of rain.
We were sold out with an excited audience.
The brilliant Curtis Stigers was our opening performer for that tour.
Curtis had finished his set.
I was walking from my dressing room to my entrance.
The band had taken their positions on the stage.
About ten seconds before I gave the cue to begin the opening music, Steve Ernaut, my stage manager, said to me, "Hold on Chief, it's beginning to drizzle out there. Let's wait a few minutes to see if the rain passes." So we all stood there waiting to see what the weather would do.
Remember: Over 5,000 people all seated inside the pavilion and thousands more out on the lawn.
The band in the dark at their positions.
Me standing in the dark in the wings.
We all could hear the rain begin on the roof of the Pavilion very quietly.
Then we heard it get louder and louder.
Then it sounded like Elephants running on the Pavilion roof.
And then we heard the screams of the audience. The storm hit without any warning and poured down on the thousands of people on the lawn.
They were soaked within seconds.
They started to run for cover under the pavilion roof.
Then the flood began.
There's a huge, round hole in the ceiling of the PNC Pavilion.
The water began to pour through this hole like a waterfall, soaking the people in the pavilion.
The water began to rush down the aisles, filled with garbage from everyone's lunch and dinner.
Filled with mud from the lawn.
The water rose up to the audience's waists.
That's when we heard the screaming.
I peeked out of the wings and saw pandemonium.
People trying to get out of the way of the water.
Running to the side aisles, grabbing their kids, trying to scramble on to the stage.
The Fire and Police Departments arrived within minutes and tried to control the crowd.
It was awful. Just awful.
No one will ever forget it.
Doing a show was out of the question.
Even though some brave souls stayed,
hoping that the Fire Department would allow the show to go on, (they wouldn't), we couldn't anyway because all the sound system was soaked.
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Just soaking wet and terrified.
This Manilow TV episode is the make-up Matinee that we did Sunday afternoon when the clouds had cleared, clothes had dried, and the sun came out.