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.
InterfaithPeaceChapel.org.

………………………

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

REVIEW: Josh Groban seduced men and women alike at the American Airlines Center

Josh Groban

In an era when autotuning has effectively masked the tone-deaf caterwauling of countless numbers of pop “vocalists,” it’s nice to hear a singer who can, you know, sing (are you listening, Ke$ha?). When Josh Groban breaks out that creamy baritone on a squishy pop ballad like “You Are Loved,” you stop caring that his style is perhaps too adult-contemporary for serious music fans, too popera for classical music lovers, and you just rinse in the rich glow of his voice.

Groban can still pull in crowd, as he showed to a well-attended concert at American Airlines Center on Monday night. What’s fascinating about his demographic is, there is no demographic; we sat next to another gay couple; a middle-aged straight couple sat in front of us; teenagers squealed at the 30-year-old mophead from floor seats; and an 8-year-old attended with her mom, a Hispanic woman in her 30s. Guys and gals wore Groban T-shirts (they pawed at him so much as he worked his way repeatedly through the throng, I thought he might wanna rename himself Josh Gropin’). It was an ecumenical musical experience, with everyone there knowing what they were getting and walking away satisfied.

It’s been almost exactly 10 years since Groban burst on the scene, rehearsing with Celine Dion at the Grammys then getting a features role on Ally McBeal, and going from gangly kid to romantic star almost overnight. Groban gravitates (he admits this) to sad, slow songs that showcase his deliberate, fully rounded vocal chops. He’s a bit Vegas showman, moving his performance space several times from an elevated platform at center court with an upright piano to his full band at the end of the arena, slapping hands as he moves through the audience.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Concert Notice: Britney hits up AAC in July

If you caught Britney Spears’ performance on Good Morning America today, you likely heard her announce she’ll be on the road quick-like to support her new album, Femme Fatale (I’ll have a review of it in this week’s ish). According to Billboard, the North American tour starts in June, and hits Dallas at the American Airlines Center on July 12. Enrique Iglesias was to be on the bill as well, but has reportedly dropped out already – just hours after the tour announcement. Perhaps two divas on a bill just wasn’t a good idea.

For those who missed GMA this morning, here’s some video of the concert as a preview of what to expect in July.

—  Rich Lopez