Local chiropractor Dr. Chad Laurence's mission in life has always been about helping people. So, when the opportunity arose for Laurence to offer his services to the band and crew of the Kenny Chesney "No Shoes Nation" tour last month, he didn't hesitate.
When a big 55,000-seat concert occurs, all eyes are fixed on the stage. Not too many people think about what is happening behind-the-scenes, although it might occur to an astute viewer that a lot of work likely went into the lighting, set design or sound of a monstrous show like the Saturday, June 8 Kenny Chesney show at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
But, there's more to it than that. The process of putting a huge show together can be back-breaking work for the band members and crew so more and more musicians are making sure their crews can be taken care of on-site.
Enter chiropractor Dr. Chad Laurence, who runs a successful practice in Hockessin and normally finds himself helping members of his community with everything from spinal alignment and carpel tunnel syndrome to headaches and arthritis.
But, when he's not working on locals, sometimes he can be found helping actors and musicians with the symptoms built up from a life on the road. So, when the opportunity arose to support a big production like Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" tour, Laurence didn't hesitate.
He took time this week, in between appointments and spinal alignments to discuss his once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Q How did Kenny Chesney's people find out about you? How did you get involved?
A I met someone locally in Delaware who had a friend in New York City who was involved in stuff like this. So, once she saw my resume and saw how successful I was, she's started asking me to do work with traveling theatrical performances and other musical acts. So, when she got the press release for the Kenny Chesney concert and that the whole show actually featured four bands, she thought it would be perfect for me.
Q So, what was your experience like?
A I got my own private room at Lincoln Financial Field. It was me and a massage therapist, who was actually in a separate room. We took care of everybody, from lighting people and stage people to performers and band members. I was actually really busy, though. Musicians like Kenny Chesney can be on the road for six months at a time. He's got 18 truck-drivers that work for him, transporting his lighting, his stage and all of his equipment from city to city. His crew is doing really hard work, from lugging equipment around to hanging from 40-foot rafters and putting the stage together.
Q Given the work they do, what kind of injuries did you see?
A Well, all that hard work produces a lot of aches and pains. Their wrists are sore. Their backs are sore. Their necks. Once word spread that I was there, I was pretty busy.
Q What were you surprised by the most?
A Well, I had access to everything. It was really neat. I had never been in the locker rooms at the Lincoln Financial Field before. I got to go backstage. People would be really surprised to learn what backstage really means and just how far back it goes. I also got to eat my meals with the band. They have their own chef. They're actually a pretty healthy bunch. They had their own organic juicer there the entire time.
Q Did you get to work on Kenny Chesney?
A No. I never got to work on him. I did get a chance to work on some of the band members, though. Everybody was really nice and really down-to-earth.
Q Anytime someone works with a celebrity, the assumption is that the money must be really good. Is that true?
A I was allowed to set my own rates but I just charged the same thing that I always charge. I wouldn't have overcharged them or anybody just because it was a special occasion-at least for me. But, like I said, I was really busy the entire time so I did really well.
Q All in all, it sounds like it went really well. So, if you had your pick, what musician or concert would you like to work on as well?
A That's a hard question. I would have to say the Dave Matthews Band.