Bamboo Room owner Russell Hibbard shares one of his favorite stories from his many years at the iconic venue.
“I’ll never forget a performance by Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys (a western swing band from California). We had those hurricanes here in 2004 and 2005. And we had gotten our power back before FP&L, even. So it was kind of cool; within this core of downtown, we were doing OK. And we had not been able to be operating because of the curfews. So when were finally able to open, one of the first shows after a storm was Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys.
They started the show, and about 45 minutes in, the power went out. Now, it’s dusk, right? We have these candelas. We all got together, and were talking about it – we didn’t know how long it was going to be out. Do we tell everybody we’ll refund their money and rain-check the show, or what? And Sandy and his drummer go, ‘Hell no! Let’s do a show!’
He goes up and shouts out, ‘Everybody, pass those candles up here.’ It was the neatest thing. These are chargeable candelas. Everybody passed them forward to create footlights. The band sat at the age of the stage and did the coolest acoustic set. I shouted, ‘Does anyone have a handheld that they’re recording this with?’ Because it was one of those lighting-in-a-bottle moments. It’s vivid for me. When the power came back on about halfway through that set, everybody went, ‘awwwww. Turn it back off!’ It was great."