Rihanna fan Aaron Gifford threatens class-action lawsuit over Friday night’s flame-out at the AAC

We’re late to the news that Rihanna fans won’t be getting refunds for Friday’s fire-shortened show. That’s mainly because I was so sick of this story that I didn’t feel like updating my last post. But after seeing Fox 4‘s report Monday night, I couldn’t resist sharing it anyway — not because you haven’t already heard the news, but because you really need to meet the man behind the “Rihanna Dallas concert refund” Facebook page, Aaron Gifford. (Watch the video below to find out why, although the screen grab above might already have given it away.) According to the Facebook page, it looks like Gifford’s now threatening a class-action lawsuit. “Not everyone is Rihanna and can just sing and make a million dollars. I mean, some of us actually have to work for our money,” Gifford, who spent $300 on his ticket, tells Fox 4. “This isn’t just about me. It’s about everybody that worked hard to come see her and was disappointed. … If they would have had a fire extinguisher up there and someone knew how to use it the concert would have gone on.”

No Refund for Rihanna Fans after Concert Fire: MyFoxDFW.com

—  John Wright

Britney Spears & Nicki Minaj at AAC

Pop to the core

If you don’t get pop overload by the end of tomorrow evening, than you are a superstar. Although Gaga may already claim the top concert event of the year for most people, Britney Spears is likely a close second. Well, we are thinking gay boy audiences of course. But with the added support of Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nicki Minaj, well, that’s just above and beyond. DJ duo Nervo gets the night going which is icing on the cake.

DEETS: Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Jessie & the Toy Boys, Nervo. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 7 p.m. $29–$350. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Rihanna fans demand refunds after fire ended show; authorities backtrack on cause of blaze

Fans who attended Friday’s Rihanna show at the American Airlines Center — which was cut short by a fire above the stage — have taken to Facebook to demand refunds, WFAA reports.

As we’ve reported, the fire broke out near the end of the show, after Rihanna had performed for well over an hour, so I’d say a full refund is probably asking a little much. But it’s true that she didn’t get a chance to play some of her biggest hits, and if I had paid for my tickets — and if I really liked Rihanna – I might be demanding a refund, too.

Either way, it’s true that the PA announcer told the crowd they’d be compensated when he announced the concert was canceled and asked people to evacuate. Perhaps he was just trying to get them to comply and avoid a bad situation, but he said it, so I think there should be some form of compensation. A free Rihanna album? A discount to her next show in Dallas? Officials reportedly are meeting today to discuss the matter further.

Also, Dallas Fire-Rescue issued a press release this afternoon backtracking from their initial explanation as to how the blaze started. “Initially, the fire was thought to have started when embers from the pyrotechnics ignited a chair near the stage; however, fire investigators have become aware of new information that contradicts that position,” DFR spokesman Jason Evans said in an email this afternoon. “I am waiting on that information and will update the press release if and when I receive it.”

We will, in turn, keep you posted.

UPDATE: Asked what the new information might be, Evans said the following: “For concern that the new information may not be accurate, I don’t want to tell you what they are considering. However, I did just get off the phone with Arson Investigation and they tell me that, despite new information, they have interviewed some key people and are still leaning heavily toward the originally suspected cause.

“I was told that they should be able to confirm something in the next hour or so. I am waiting on a call back and will send updates as soon as I hear something new.”

UPDATE NO. 2: Evans now says that the cause of the fire was as originally suspected:

“I hate that it took this long just to come full circle, but as it turns out the cause of the fire was as originally suspected,” Evans writes. “However, there are some additional details that are included in the release. … Also, since I received some other questions regarding the Brittany Spears concert, I feel I should let you all know that this incident has in no way effected her concert (at least as far as FD is concerned).”

The press release attached to Evans’ email reads as follows: “Fire investigators determined that the fire started when sparks from the pyrotechnics ignited a fabric chair. The chair was situated to a truss member directly above the pyrotechnics display, where it was being used by a person that was controlling the main spotlight. The person operating the light did suffer a minor burn, but decided not to go to the hospital. No citations were issued.”

—  John Wright

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Rihanna at the AAC

To view a full slideshow, go here.

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard about the fire that tragically cut short Rihanna’s show at the American Airlines Center on Friday night.

It figures that a little news would break out at one of the few shows to which our stingy music guy, Rich Lopez, has given the online editor tickets. Granted, my video of the fire isn’t the best because, I’ll be honest, I was among those scrambling for the exits. I was well aware of the Rangers fan who fell to his death at the ballpark in Arlington the night before, and I wasn’t about to get caught up in another North Texas stadium disaster.

—  John Wright

Rihanna at the American Airlines Center on July 8

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (MarceloMedia)


—  John Wright

WATCH: Fire cuts short Rihanna concert

A light truss above the stage caught fire near the end of tonight’s Rihanna concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The small fire was extinguished after a few minutes, but the building was evacuated as the air filled with smoke. There were no injuries, according to media reports. The fire began more than an hour into the show right after Rihanna sang “California King Bed,” during which sparks shot down from above the stage. The remainder of the concert was canceled.

“DALLAS!!! We set the stage on FYAH tonight!!! LITERALLY!!! I’m so pissed, I was havin so much fun wit yall too!!! I gotta come back man!!” Rihanna said on Twitter moments later.

Below is some of the video I shot from Section 107.

—  John Wright

Rihanna’s your only girl tonight at AAC

Please don’t stop the music

Rihanna is all over the place lately. She got all dark with 2009′s Rated R but her tour stop in Dallas was canceled. She appeared on pretty much everyone else’s album between then and her 2010 release Loud. Her latest collab was with Britney Spears (who comes in Tuesday) on “S&M.” But tonight’s all about her and we hear she turns out an awesome live show. She better since she stood us up the last time around.

DEETS: With J. Cole. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 7:30 p.m. $22–$102. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Best Bets • 06.24.11

Sunday 06.26JKnightNKOTBSB

Boys to men
Finally, it’s cool to like New Kids on the Block and not be a teenage girl in the late ’80s. Likely you imagined holding hands with Jordan and Joey, but Jonathan was really the cutest. Good looks, the quiet one and lo and behold, gay! Jonathan Knight came out publicly earlier this year. They team with the all-grown ’90s boy band, Backstreet Boys.

DEETS: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave.
7:30 p.m. $32–$92. Ticketmaster.com.


Tuesday 06.28

Three decades later
Dallas takes a look at current treatments for HIV/AIDS as well as the challenges of the future at AIDS at 30: A Community Forum. Manisha Maskay and Dr. Christopher Evans of AIDS Arms speak on prevention strategies and the hopes of the near future while Dr. Brady Allen covers today’s treatment.

DEETS: Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. 6 p.m.


Thursday 06.30

Oh, does he have talent
You probably caught wind of the Baroque dandy singer Prince Poppycock on America’s Got Talent. Although he didn’t snag the top spot, he’s a winner in our eyes with that voice, costumes and theatrics.

DEETS: The Rose Room, 3912 Cedar Springs Road (inside S4).
Midnight. $8–$15. Caven.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

WATCH: Westboro Baptist at the AAC

Last night we told you that picketers from Westboro Baptist Church were outside the American Airlines Center on Sunday, prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals, protesting the league’s recent crackdown on anti-gay slurs — or, according to WBC, Commissioner David Stern’s decision to “cram the homosexual lifestyle down the throat of America.” Looks like KDAF-33 was the only station to report on the picket, and their video is below. If anything, Westboro’s picket should only strengthen the NBA’s resolve to become more LGBT-friendly. Perhaps it will even help spur one of the league’s teams to join baseball’s San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox and film an “It Gets Better” video. How ’bout it, Mavericks?

—  John Wright

Westboro Baptist pickets NBA Finals in Dallas

Daryl Presgraves, a spokesman for GLSEN, sends along word that Westboro Baptist Church picketed outside the American Airlines Center in Dallas before Game 3 of the NBA finals tonight. The photos above and below were posted on Twitter by Westboro members. According to a schedule on WBC’s website, tonight’s picket was partly in response to the NBA’s recent decision to fine two players for using the word “faggot”:

WBC will picket the NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat to warn this nation that they need to tear down their idols and worship only the true God, Jesus Christ. The people of Doomed america set up these spoiled, rebellious basketball players and other celebrities as little gods that they emulate then curse the real God, Jesus Christ because He does not supprt their vile sins.

1 Chronicles 16:26 “For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.”

Like the ancient Israelites, this nation has turned their collective back on the the Lord their God and refused to obey. The prefer to worship their powerless idols and pay false prophets to lie to them. They would rather live like these filthy celebrities by fornicating, divorcing & remarrying, and supporting fag-filth than  to hear about God’s standards – to the peril of their never-dying souls.  Nevertheless, WBC will kindly warn them to flee the wrath to come by repenting and obeying. Doomed americans cannot continue to live for the devil then expect to get to heaven. Hell and damnation awaits these idolatrous fools.

Additionally, the NBA has an official policy of kissing fag ass. Players in the league can be fined for disagreeing with the sodomite mantra ”It’s OK to be gay.” The ancient citizens of Sodom & Gomorrah also chose to side with the fags against God and look what it got them – Total Destruction at the hand of an angry God!

Presgraves notes that the NBA also recently filmed a “Think Before You Speak” PSA that’s been airing during the NBA playoffs. Watch the PSA and view more photos from the picket below.

—  John Wright