Last Thursday night, I ventured out with my parents to see Jay Leno at the Huntsville Hospital Foundation benefit. My dad bought our tickets back a few months ago and I had been looking forward to it for a long time. The show started at 8:30 p.m. which may seem late, but they had a dinner beforehand which we did not attend.
My parents picked me up about 8:00 p.m. and we drove the five minutes to the VBC where the traffic was beyond ridiculous. All the handicapped spots up front were taken, which was not surprising and so my dad dropped me and my mom off and went to the parking garage across the street where it took him close to 30 minutes to get in and get parked. Apparently there was only one line open to get in the garage and thousands of people trying to park. We made it in just as the show was getting underway.
We had great seats, but as soon as we got settled, we realized we couldn't hear a thing. The audio system was terrible. In a city full of engineers, you'd think the VBC would be able to find someone who could set up a decent sound system. The volume was bad and the microphone kept popping. Only pockets of people were laughing and those pockets varied throughout the night. I never saw anyone in the upper sections laughing. We were downstairs and no one in our section was laughing; most people were just checking their phones. I read and heard that even people sitting on the floor (who paid large sums of money to be there) couldn't hear.
In addition to the terrible sound system, Mr. Leno was also holding a microphone and he held it down low, far away from his mouth most of the time. If he needed a microphone to hold, you'd think they could have put a lapel mic on his jacket and just given him a dead mic to hold. Call me crazy, but that seems logical. Mr. Leno also talked fast at times and seemed to mumble at other times, neither of which helped the situation.
My mother went to guest services at least twice and they told her "the engineers are working on it," but the sound never got better. It was so bad that for the one hour Mr. Leno spoke, I could hear the talking, etc. from the concession stand area behind us over what Mr. Leno was saying. I caught maybe five jokes. It was very disappointing.
Mr. Leno ended his routine right at 9:30 p.m. but first he auctioned off a few trips to California for a personal tour of his garage (where he collects motorcycles and cars) that went for $7,000 a pop after which there was a mass exodus to the parking garage where not all the exits were open and so we had to wait in the car until the traffic thinned out before making our getaway. Needless to say, it was a very disappointing experience for something I had been looking forward to for a long time. Hopefully The Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the VBC will take the negative feedback and improve on it for whoever they bring in next year.