I was one of the 2-3,000 brave souls that withstood the remnants of Hurricane Ida outdoors last night in order to attend my first concert at the new Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport. The Bronx, Rancid, and Dropkick Murphys brought their Boston to Berkley II Tour to Connecticut's newest concert venue.

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If you thought last night's storm was incredible to experience in the comfort of your own home, you should have seen it at the show. Absolutely torrential downpours poured down through pretty much the entire concert, which, unfortunately was cut short 5 songs into headliners Dropkick Murphys set.

Photo by Large "Al Barr rules" Dave

Fellow concert-goers reacted to the band's announcement that they were being pulled off stage as you would expect: lots of "Awwwwwws", and quite a few boos came from the crowd. After asking the amped up pit what they would like to hear as a final song, Dropkick launched into a furious version of "I'm Shipping Up To Boston". My extremely good friend Dave Baltrush captured the moment:

I've been watching the angry comments rolling in on the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater's social media posts and it's really got me shaking my head. You can't F with lightning people. Any public outdoor event, be it a kid's football game, playing a round on a golf course, a country fair, or a concert, will halt activity if there are nearby lightning strikes. I saw the lightning, and it was close.

Depending on the projected length of the storm, an event may be able to resume after the storm passes. It was 9:15PM when the rep walked onstage and told the Dropkicks that they had one more song and they were done. The storm wasn't projected to wrap up until 3-4 AM, so there was no chance that anyone would wait it out or even continue at that hour of the morning.

Photo by Large "The roof...the roof.." Dave

I want to add this, last night's hurricane remnants were probably the worst weather that the open-air Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater will have to face, and to me, it passed with flying colors. The Amphitheater is probably 90% covered by the beautiful tent-like roof, and as you can see in the above photo, there are openings in it to allow air to escape, just like a giant umbrella. You may get a bit wet, but overall you're good. In this extreme situation, there was plenty of refuge to get out of direct rain. If you're worried about seeing a show and there is light to moderate rain in the forecast, don't even think about the rain, it's a non-factor inside. GO.

Another thing that I'd like to add: I've never encountered so many nice employees at a venue in my life. EVERY service worker, from the ticket scanners and security at the front gate, to the folks selling beer, to the concierge service workers on the Suite level were gracious, welcoming, and always had a smile on their face. Connecticut truly has one of the best live event venues in the world with the new Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport.

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