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Final Skyblast will rock the trees

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Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

To: Alternative rock band Neon Trees

From: Pirates owner Bob Nutting

Re: Set list change

When your band agreed to perform at the Pirates' final Skyblast event of the season on Sept. 21, you undoubtedly believed the team would be concluding its 21st straight year of utter futility.

You reasonably expected the crowd would consist primarily of your fans, and perhaps include a few season ticketholders too shell-shocked to rise from their seats after another Pirates' Hindenburg-like crash-and-burn.

Unfortunately, that's unlikely to be the case, and I'm afraid that's entirely our fault. The Pirates are experiencing their first winning season since 1992. Do you realize how long ago that was? Czechoslovakia was still a nation, and “Cheers” was still on the air, for crying out loud. “Cheers”!

Our long-suffering fans have had to refer to their sports glossaries to look up long-forgotten definitions of “probable playoff team,” “potential division winner” and “legitimate World Series contender.” They are about as familiar with those terms as they are with the Norwegian term for refrigerator, which I'm sure you know is “kjoleskap.”

We're in the middle of an exciting pennant race (another term that has our fans flipping through their reference books), so you likely will find the number of baseball fans in the stands the evening you perform will greatly outnumber Neon Trees fans. You guys aren't exactly U2, therefore we want you to modify your set list to include several songs that local sports fans immediately would recognize.

Please be sure to perform Styx's “Renegade,” which is dramatically overplayed at Steelers' games; Gary Glitter's “Rock and Roll Part 2,” a mind-numbing staple at Penguins games; and Neil Diamond's “Sweet Caroline,” which mystifyingly has become an integral part of Pitt football games.

If you don't know any of those tunes, anything by Bob Seger, Tom Petty or Journey will suffice. This is a classic rock town.

I don't believe this request violates any provision of your performance contract, but I'm having our attorneys review the document to be certain.

In the meantime, please don't let our unexpected success deter you from considering performing at one of our Skyblast events next year.

Attendance levels most likely will return to their normal pedestrian levels next season even if we're having another outstanding run. That's because we're raising ticket prices in conjunction with the revealing of the 2014 team slogan, “Hey, Being Competitive Costs.”

Catchy, no?

Eric Heyl is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or eheyl@tribweb.com.

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