What to do when the lights go out? Keep on singing. That's just was Steve Tyrell did Thursday night when Jones Hall suddenly went dark — completely dark — during his concert with the Houston Symphony.
With three Burt Bacharach songs to go and knowing that the show must go on, Tyrell invited Judith Hill and Diane Schuur to join him on stage for the microphone-less performance of "This Guys In Love With You," "The Look of Love" and "I Say a Little Prayer."
"All of a sudden all the lights went out. It was like the Super Bowl."
"It was great but I've never had this happen to me in my life," Tyrell told CultureMap shortly after the concert. "All of a sudden all the lights went out. It was like the Super Bowl."
Not completely in the dark for too long, the audience was soon slightly illuminated by the emergency lights. But no lights on stage. The symphony musicians could not read their music. So Tyrell and company went on with the "Steve Tyrell & Friends" finale with only a piano accompaniment.
The trio responded to the cheers with an encore, singing "Stand By Me," another sing along.
The audience loved it. An example, was this tweet from Samantha Braden, "Way to power thru a power outage. Class act." Meagan Alexander tweeted, " . . . and then the power went out in Jones Hall and we had a sing along session with Steve Tyrell."
Tyrell humorously called the latter part of the concert "Tyrell, unplugged."Literally.
Ironically, the program for the season was titled "Conducting Electricity." Personal stylist Helen Perry was among the first to get Tyrell to sign the program with that all too coincidental title.
And as further coincidence would have it CenterPoint Energy executive vice president Tom Standish was in the mix when the lights finally came back on and VIPs gathered in the green room for a meet and greet.
According to Roz Pactor, Tyrell's sister, Standish explained that the breakers for the stage lights for some reason flipped off. And because it took a few minutes — like three Burt Bacharach songs long — for the breakers to recharge, there was little more than emergency lighting. (There might be something lost in the translation of this technicality, but that's how CultureMap received the info late Thursday night.)