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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Civic Center director David Soules is KILLING IT!

Lately people have come up to me and said I used to motivate them with the positivity of what I did for the community. 
They say they like these articles, but they worry that everything is so negative. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with me getting tagged in every pothole, busted curb, mayoral truck, flower pot, “bad thing happening in Cheyenne” post.
It has become a real challenge for me to find something good in Cheyenne. But I did.
The Civic Center. 
I was one of the leading antagonists of the Civic Center when that other guy ran it.
Sir Mix A Lot brought thousands to Cheyenne's Downtown Plaza.
When I heard he turned down Marilyn Manson to play here on a Sunday, and that Manson was paying to play here, I had had more than enough, 
That was one more bad apple story to the orchard of bad stories. 
Enter David Soules. The man with a smile and a laugh that is contagious. Who never gets off his phone because he is seeing if he can book every artist who is still alive.
That’s right, David has a spreadsheet of bands people send him just in case their agents ever email. He knows when there is someone is interested in seeing them.  
You should email him with bands you like. I’ve done it tons of times. My friend Thomas said he hoped Lyle Lovett would come. He was so stoked when I messaged him that it was a reality. 
The first show from the Civic Center after Soule got here that I remember seeing on Facebook was Trombone Shorty. The videos were electric. I couldn’t believe this was a Wednesday night in Cheyenne. It looked like a real city and a real concert!
Here’s how things stack up over the last two years. 
Highest grossing:STYX, Avett Brothers, Norah Jones.
Most profitable: Avett Brothers, STYX, iLuminate.
Most tickets sold:Mannheim Steamroller, Norah Jones, Avett Brothers.
Most talked about: Bareknuckle Fight, Avett Brothers, Trombone Shorty.
I have my own stats. Peter Frampton. I was so miserable about my former employer closing shop that I forgot had I bought tickets to Frampton on Valentine's Day.
David Soules
That show was so sick. I said to myself, “Did Peter Frampton just kill it?” The answer was yes. 
I’ve been to the symphony, ballets, even a ballet where Rush Archives was the backup music. 
I really wanted to see Three Dog Night and ZZ Top. 
And let’s not forget the Downtown Plaza and the Botanical Gardens.
David brought Patti Fiasco, Marchfourth, Black Lillies, Rev Peyton's Big Damn Band and Red Bush to the Plaza, and he snagged Sir Mix A Lot. That’s right, Sir Mix A Lot. Free. To the public.
In the words of a fellow Cheyenne music promoter in regards to Sir Mix A Lot, “David hit this show so far out of the park, I can’t believe it. If you compare where Cheyenne is with live entertainment and community events to, say, 2014, it’s truly a bit of a renaissance at play.”
If you’re writing Facebook comments like this, “With Sir Mix A Lot and later Sugar Hill, all I have to say is: If Cheyenne is now on the hip hop nostalgia circuit, we need das efx to do a show somewhere here.”
If you need to, send an email to get the act to his spreadsheet:
The vibe at Sir Mix A Lot was local and appreciated. Many posts reported how Mix A Lot brought huge crowds, and it wasn’t Cheyenne Frontier Days related!
Cheyenne wants and needs more things besides CFD.
I am super-stoked that David took the job and about what he has done for music and culture in Cheyenne. Maybe this column will get me on stage at The Price is Right.? Just kidding. Or am I? 
I would give a standing ovation, but some season ticket holders would turn me into security. 

Richard Johnson is a former City Council member from Ward 3 on Cheyenne’s east side.

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