Some afternoon and early evening showers did not dissuade more than 1,000 people from turning out for alternative rock band Fuel’s Hot Summer Nights performance Thursday evening.
City officials said the turnout for Thursday’s opening night of Sherman’s Hot Summer Nights concert series rivaled some of the bigger show the city has hosted over the years.
“That is a huge turnout for the weird, weird weather leading up to that (show),” Tourism/Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said. “It was really about the best scenario we could (ask for) working with that weird weather.”
McRae said a soundcheck for the performance was done at 2 p.m. Thursday and the weather showed no signs of the showers that were to come.
“Normally, if we know early enough in the day that it’s definitely going to rain, then we can move into Kidd-Key (Auditorium), which is our rain plan,” McRae said. “I had a lot of questions on our website about why we didn’t move into Kidd-Key, but the problem is we can’t once we’ve already set up all the instruments. At that point, we would have just had to cancel and that would be a sad, sad waste of everyone’s time and our Hotel-Motel Tax dollars.”
Local acoustic duo AC/TC, who opened Thursday’s show, saw some showers during its set, but McRae said the rains held off for Fuel and actually proved beneficial for many attendees.
“That weather lasted a lot longer than we thought it would, but it was also probably the coolest Hot Summer Nights we’ve ever had,” she said. “I could have used a little jacket or something.”
McRae said Fuel ended up playing for more than 90 minutes, including the entirety of its full-length debut “Sunburn” for the album’s 20th anniversary, and had some fun around town prior to the show.
“At least a couple members of the band said they had gone and done things around Sherman to explore the day before the show,” McRae said. “I know a lot of them always like to visit Touch of Class (antique mall) — Kevin Fowler and I think Wade Bowen both did it (last year). They like to see all of our local stuff.”
In addition to the free music, McRae said the event also had 10 food vendors selling their dishes Thursday.
“They really did well yesterday, despite all the circumstances,” McRae said on Friday. “I just think we’re going to have a really great season.”
This Thursday’s show will feature country mainstay Mark Chesnutt, who had 20 singles hit the top 10 on the U.S. Country chart between 1990 and 1998.
“We do have two different types of country this year,” McRae said of Chesnutt and July 12 performer Koe Wetzel. “We have one more traditional country and then we have a really up and coming hot artist of the moment and I think both of those will bring in a great draw. I think those will see some of the biggest crowds we’ve seen.”