I’ve just fielded a call from someone in direct contact with the sound team regarding the alleged “sound system failure” last night on the Aerosmith/ZZ Top tour during its stop in Sturgis, South Dakota, where a series of events led to Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler injured and transported to a hospital after falling off the stage.
The Associated Press wire report on the incident - picked up by news outlets around the country - begins: “Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was airlifted to a hospital after falling from stage during a concert at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in western South Dakota. Tyler, 61, fell while entertaining the crowd by dancing around after the sound system failed during the song ‘Love In an Elevator,’ said Mike Sanborn, spokesman for the Buffalo Chip Campground, which hosted the outdoor concert.”
First and most importantly, we hope that Mr. Tyler is not badly injured and recovers quickly, and ultimately can continue the tour. The report notes: “Tyler suffered minor head and neck injuries and a shoulder injury, but it wasn’t immediately clear how serious that was.”
Now, as noted above, a couple of individuals traveling with the tour, both of whom are working on the sound system team, passed along word that there was no sound system failure of any sort last night, explaining that the power system, apparently overloaded, was the problem.
It appears that the sound system was receiving AC power distribution service rated at 200 amps, with an audio professional at the event testing the sound system’s power draw during soundcheck, verifying that the system was drawing only 80 amps total.
However, unnamed parties also providing services at the rally and concert later (and unbeknownst to the sound crew) tapped into the same power service, overloading it .
Therefore, there was absolutely nothing under the control of the sound professionals that caused the power failure, the equipment was in top working order, and in fact and as noted, the sound crew verified the sound system’s AC power draw prior to the show and found it to be less than half of the rated power service.
I will provide more details and confirmation as soon as they’re available.
For what it’s worth, you can read the full AP report here, among hundreds of places.