Big & Rich Performs Magic

Country duo Big & Rich‘s surprise radio station visit in Binghamton, N.Y., June 12th turned into the night of a lifetime for their fans and the owners of a local concert venue.

Dave Anderson, who co-owns Magic City Music Hall with Stu Green in nearby Johnson City, said they were three hours away in Rochester promoting Faith Hill and Tim McGraw‘s show when he got a call from country station WHWK-FM General Manager Mary Beth Walsh.

“I got a call around 6 p.m. She said, ‘Big & Rich are in the studio and they want to play a free concert tonight. Can we do it at your place?'” Anderson told Pollstar. “I said ‘Yeah!’ and was thinking, ‘How the heck am I going to pull this one off?’

“Fortunately, our box office person was still [at the club]. We got a hold of her, told her what was going on and started calling staff. Of course, everybody thought we were kidding.”

The hall was closed for the night but Anderson said 30 staff members quickly came in to work the show. By the time doors opened at 7:30 p.m., there was a line around the corner.

“It was funny because I’m, of course, calling everybody every 15 seconds to see what was going on,” he said. “Both of us were going out of our minds, but we have such a great crew we just knew everything was going to go all right and it did.”

About 1,500 people attended the impromptu show after Big Kenny and John Rich announced their plan during an on-air interview.

“People were just there having a good time. It was one of those experiences of a lifetime you don’t forget,” Anderson said.

Big & Rich’s “Comin’ To Your City” tour is scheduled to hit more than 30 venues nationwide this summer with Cowboy Troy and other special guests at selected venues.

– Tina Amendola