By most accounts, more than 1,000 people showed up in the parking lot of the Station Pub & Grill in Marana on May 1 when Tucson’s’ 80s cover band The Dirt Band put on an outdoor performance.
They were expecting several hundred people, or maybe a little more than the 650 who showed up for their first show at the Station just before COVID hit.
But when they stepped onto the makeshift stage in the parking lot of the sports bar / restaurant at 8235 N. Silverbell Road, every inch of the asphalt field and the alleys of the little square were jam-packed.
Some guys in the audience knew people at the AVA at Casino del Sol, and one call resulted in another, and in July, The Dirt drummer Andy Saenz got an unlikely invitation: did he and his youngster group would like to headlining a Tucson scene that is normally reserved for national acts?
“I was shocked and surprised,” Saenz said. “I couldn’t believe they would let us do it… because we weren’t opening for another group. I knew they normally wouldn’t leave local bands (title).
On Friday October 1, The Dirt will play the biggest – and only their fourth – show of their career at the 5,000-seat AVA.
The Dirt formed just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and performed a single show before being forced to curb plans to channel all of the major hair metal bands the band members had grown up with in the 1980s and 1990s.