The first "major" US concert since the pandemic lockdown happened in Fort Smith, Arkansas on Monday night (5/18). Travis McCready of Bishop Gunn played TempleLive, a converted Masonic temple that normally holds 1100 people but had a reduced capacity of 229 for this show. Most of the seats were grouped into "fan pods" of up to six people who came together. All attendees had to get their temperature taken on the way in, face masks were required -- TempleLive had branded ones available -- and the venue kept all pathways one-way, directing concertgoers to maintain a six-foot distance between each other. According to The New York Times, the venue's full 30-person staff worked the show.
While opener Lauren Brown played with a full band, McCready performed solo, though he did have a dog onstage with him at one point. His set included Bishop Gunn songs and a cover of Audioslave's "I Am the Highway." Here's more from the Times' article:
In Fort Smith at times on Monday night, the monitoring and safety precautions designed to comfort health officials and music fans gave the rock concert an elementary school feel.
Fans, though, said it didn’t affect their experience. “I don’t think that would discourage anybody who’s a fan of live music,” said Jake Lung, 24, of Marked Tree, Ark.
Lung, a McCready fan, said he drove six hours to see the show. He was like many who said that, for all the hoopla about the virus and the first concert and the hurdles it had to clear, they had come for the music, not to make any statement about reopening the entertainment industry.
“He’s a genuine sweetheart,” Randolph said of McCready, whom she said she had met at a previous show. “His voice is amazing and he has the best heart.”
Travis' TempleLive show was originally set for May 15 but it got postponed till Monday; Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a cease and desist order and suspended the venue's liquor license to block them from the original date, citing the 5/18 as the previously set day live events could start happening again in the state. McCready was also supposed to play Missouri on Saturday (5/16) but that show is now happening tonight.
Check out a few Instagram and Twitter pics/videos from the show below.