Fox Tucson rethinking seating, security after Mavericks debacle

Band says 'army of yellow shirts' was 'oppressive'
2013-03-28T00:00:00Z Fox Tucson rethinking seating, security after Mavericks debacleCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Fox Tucson Theatre may reconsider how it sells some of its concerts after a debacle at last Thursday's Mavericks show.

The downtown venue could go to all general assignment seating or possibly carve out an area near the stage for fans to dance, said Fox Executive Director Craig Sumberg.

"We are doing more … shows, where people want to stand up and dance at the show," Sumberg said. "For shows that are likely to be like this ... I'm considering booking those a different way going forward."

The possible change comes after Fox security and Mavericks' frontman Raul Malo clashed at the Mavericks show after security tried to force fans to sit down and put away cellphone cameras. Malo several times yelled at security personnel, including cursing at one, and told Sumberg from the stage that he wanted security out of the hall.

"At the end of the day for us it's about maintaining the expectations of everyone in the hall. People who buy a front-row seat expect to see the band and they are not happy when there are people standing and dancing in front of them during the show," Sumberg said, calling Malo's reaction to the security personnel unprofessional.

Mavericks founding drummer Paul Deakin said the security was excessive and bordered on "oppressive."

"I've never had an experience where a person can't stand up and clap. From note one ... that army of yellow shirts was running around, flashing their lights at people," Deakin said.

Fan Randy Carter, one of 800 people at the show, said he felt the security personnel's reaction was "heavy-handed overkill."

"When the music started, people immediately jumped out of their seats. Security immediately rushed down the aisle with their flashlights," he said. "That was overkill."

Sumberg said he has full faith that the security was acting appropriately in enforcing the Mavericks' contractual agreement that there be no photography. Deakin said the band has no such prohibitions.

"It's a very fine line and we're trying to find the right" balance, Sumberg said. "We love those shows and they do well and I do think the Fox is a better venue for them. But the Mavericks show would have been better suited for the Rialto."

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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