KOBRA AND THE LOTUS was coming back to Dallas. Last time I saw them was at The Rail Club in Fort Worth. This time they were opening for SEBASTIAN BACH. How killer is that? I’ve never seen BACH, but former front man for SKID ROW? As KATL knocked it out of the park last time, I was really looking forward to seeing them again, but this time it would be at the Gas Monkey Bar N’Grill in North Dallas.
Before the gig was about to start, everyone was buzzing about the weather. So far we were dry, but yes, some things were starting to move in. KATL started covering their equipment on stage and there were some sprinkles. No biggie. Probably a smart move to delay a bit. Who wants to be performing in the rain and the way the Gas Monkey is set up it would come right through the overhead lights. I moved up to the covered balcony area and began visiting with one of the guys who was going to be interviewing BACH at the end of the night.
We continued to wait around. My wife texts me, “Get inside, a storm is coming”. Where we were, still not much bad weather, however some lightning was around. That’s a bit unnerving especially if one is outdoors. All of a sudden, the stage lights come on and KATL are getting after it. I scramble from the balcony to the pit and begin snapping away. I only had three songs in the pit, so I’m getting as many as I can. Kobra Paige is sounding awesome and the band is in top form. Man, this is going to be a fantastic show as they are all tight as can be.
The band gets into their second song and things are wailing away. Wow, they sound great. Toward the end it starts to rain and I motion to the stage security that I’m leaving the pit because I didn’t want to get my camera wet. Almost as if I caused it, the second I leave, the instruments, every single light on the stage, the venue, and the surrounding block went out. WTF? For an instant in time, we all stood around looking at each other, dumbfounded. What just happened? Well, this isn’t good. It starts to rain harder and I go back under the porch
I put my gear in the bag and think I hear an odd wind noise in the distance. I didn’t think anything about it. It starts to rain, hard! We continue to stand around in the dark and about 10 fire trucks take off to the west. One of the Gas Monkey staff tells me that they had witnessed a transformer blowing. I thought, “Well, man this gig is toast. If the whole block is out it’s going to be hours before this gets up and running again if at all.” We did not realize at the time, but an F3 tornado had touched down about one half mile from us. Now it all made sense.
I was really looking forward to seeing KOBRA AND THE LOTUS and SEBASTIAN BACH, but I’m more grateful that our little F3 friend did not come close to the venue. This tornado did a significant amount of damage in North Dallas and beyond. Had it been one half mile closer, this story may not have been written at all. Turns out nine tornadoes hit our area, causing over two billion dollars in damage. No one was severely injured, thankfully, which is a miracle unto itself. I’m always grateful for another day. And on this day, I was especially grateful that all of us who came got to go home safely. Salude’
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH/M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY