The man that provides us with concert experiences in Indianapolis is also a family man that has a rock n roll dream of his own.
In my opinion the requirements for anyone holding this position must include a love for music, and knowledge of how to bring the best experiences to concert fans.
After talking with Andrew, I found out he opened for Bob Seger and he knows his music history. I can tell you that Andrew is the right guy for the job and he rocks Indy!
How do you balance?
The hardest thing for me is Time…finding the time to fit in everything.
My job requires a lot of hours and my family is something I put a lot into.
Then there is playing in my band which takes up the rest of my free time.
But I always say none of it is work, because I love all three elements so much that it’s a joy to do all of them.
What things are important to you out at Verizon?
Trying to make each concert a great experience for the fans.
That is not always possible, but we do our best.
Having one unhappy fan these days can create lots of negative feedback with the new online world. From the lawn to the VIP seats we want everyone to enjoy the show and feel like they received good value for their money.
Favorite Star Sighting moment?
We have a saying don’t speak unless spoken too…don’t want to bother the artists. I don’t meet them very often but we do see them walking through and try to respect there space.
I’m a Pearl Jam freak so I have to ask, have you met Eddie Vedder?
No but funny story about that band…they played here in 2006 and they requested that nobody be on the side of the stage…they wanted it to be all about the band and the fans in the venue.
A buddy and I walked by and I could not help but stop and watch…next thing I know Eddie looks over and has the nastiest scowl on his face…
So I did have that moment with him…we left right away.
Where did your love of music come from?
I just remember listing to records with headphones and always just had a passion for artists and music. With my own band we work so hard and its tough to get people into what you are doing…and hard to know what it is that will really get people into your band…that is why I respect all of the artists that come through…its like hey if you can get all of these people to come out and spend their money to listen to your work…that is solid in my book.
Your favorite 3 drummers?
Dave Grohl, Dave Abruzzese (Ex-Pearl Jam drummer), Chad Smith
What music does it for you?
Just about anything really, just in different ways. By nature, I’ve always been into rock, grew up in the grunge era, listened to a lot of classic rock as I got older. I can appreciate just about anything, but if I have to pick, I like music that moves me. I like picking up on guitar parts that sound raunchy and thick and drums that sound like they were recorded in a cave. Today – it was Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Yesterday it was the Fleet Foxes, the day before it was Jay-Z.
Where will you be in 10 years?
Great question…hopefully first and foremost a great husband and father, hopefully still doing what I love to do. We’re (my family) in a pretty good place, somewhere that we want to be right now, so we’re definitely enjoying it. I’m not one to sit tight for too long though, I am pretty passionate about our business and how important it is to the people that fill our venues. I want to continue to make that experience better for people, the guests, the staff, the artists…everyone involved. If I’m doing the same thing that I’m doing now in 10 years, but am accomplishing those things…I think I’ll be pretty thrilled with it. Of course, playing sold out stadiums is a close second.
Reese’s Cups. Ask anyone that knows me…they buy them for me by the case. It’s a terrible habit.
Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd?
Best concert you have ever seen?
That’s a loaded question for someone like me. My personal tastes can be a lot different than a lot of peoples, but for me…some of my favorite shows for whatever reason are: Stone Temple Pilots (VWMC 2000), Tom Petty (VWMC circa 1995), Ryan Adams (Murat Theatre @ Old National Centre – 2007), U2 (Soldier Field), Pearl Jam (VWMC 2010)…I could name a list 3 miles long of amazing shows that I’ve seen so this list is hardly representative of the great shows that I’ve seen…these all probably had personal ties for me. STP – that was just a great show. Tom Petty – first show I saw at VWMC at age 14 with my dad. Was in love with everything about the experience…even the rain. Ryan Adams – guy was late to the show and when he finally got there played for 3 _ hours. U2 – that tour is simply unbelievable. PJ – boyhood heroes of mine that I had never seen in concert, was my first show as GM at VWMC, had to evacuate the building because of weather and then the band comes on and plays an amazing show that at one point we didn’t think would never end…and if we didn’t have to – we wouldn’t have cared! We’ve done some amazing shows in every genre…just because I’m into rock, doesn’t mean that the country or the rap shows aren’t good…I’ve been blessed to see so many amazing shows.
If you could open for any band who would it be?
Anyone that will let us! We just like to play! That’s a tough one…we’ve had some amazing opportunities…the most notable of which was opening for Bob Seger which was an absolutely unbelievable experience. It’s really inconceivable to imagine something bigger than that. Is the answer Seger, U2 or the Rolling Stones, etc? In a perfect world…absolutely. At the end of the day, where our band is at is that – we just want to play for people that genuinely connect with our music. We don’t slave away for hours on end writing and recording songs for no one to hear…we’re writing songs for the people that can relate to them…isn’t that what it’s all about? We want to open for any band that gives us the chance to share our blood, sweat and tears with their audience.
You can pick 3 people alive or dead to attend a concert at Verizon…who are they?
1) Steve Finkel, a great friend and mentor that lost his battle to cancer a little over a year and a half ago. I’d love to know how he thought we were doing. 2) Neil Diamond – it’s a long story and although I’m a fan…this is much more for a friend of mine than for me. This friend has kittens on her checks if that tells you anything, and more importantly has worked at the building since the day it opened. She’s one of our best and it would make her day. 3) anybody that wants to get away for a few minutes and have a good time. I know that seems like a bit of a cheesy statement, but really…we believe in what we sell. We just want for people to come out and have a good time, forget about the things that bother you and sing your favorite songs, with people that you love and have a good time.
That is exactly what I want in a concert. If you liked this story please pass it on man…I would appreciate it..thanks! -Mark