According to Rush Concert’s Jacob Reiser, he was born into the live entertainment industry. Reiser’s father began promoting shows in 1974 with the The Charlie Daniel’s Band then went on to promote boxing events in Dodge City, Kansas until the family moved to Columbus, Ohio. In Columbus, Reiser’s father began promoting Christian shows as Rush Concerts.
“I was his only son and he wanted to spend time with me, so I’d go to work with him sometimes and I’d sit in the room while they were settling shows,” Reiser told Amplify. “I would just walk around the arena when he had work to do.”
When Reiser began looking for career options, he was originally convinced he didn’t want to work for his father. He applied for multiple jobs and got calls back from several, but he couldn’t bring himself to accept. Finally, one of the women trying to pin him down for a job got in touch with him and asked him what his other options were. Reiser mentioned promoting concerts with his father and she stopped him there.
Reiser explained “She said ‘That would be stupid of you not to do that. So you no longer have a job offer.’ Then I called my dad and said ‘Hey, I’m in.’ All I needed was that little push.”
Reiser joined his father’s Rush Concerts in 1999 and hasn’t looked back. In 2015, he took over as owner and President and told Amplify “I learned everything about this business from my dad, and to date, he is the smartest person I have ever been around in our industry.”
Amplify recently caught up with Reiser to find out about five shows that have stuck with him throughout his life and career in the business.
The Rock & Worship Roadshow at Arco Arena in Sacramento
The Rock & Worship Roadshow was a tour we created in 2009. It still tours today although we sold it in 2014. This is a tour where there are no advance ticket sales, all sales are at the door. Talk about the ultimate rush, or the ultimate downer. It is either a huge win or a HUGE loss. First year out we far exceeded our expectations and it was highlighted by selling out Arco Arena at 360-degree capacity. It was insane! There were more people than the venue could handle. It was pandemonium with people sitting in the aisles and the concourses packed! I would argue that we hold the attendance record.
The Rock & Worship Roadshow at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas
The American Airlines show was also in that first year and completely sold out. I think we hold the attendance record for this venue too. It was another 360 degree capacity and we still had to turn people away. The lines were just going forever. I wanted to mention two of these people they were something we created and to see people fill up those rooms was incredible. For American Airlines, they have a big video screen outside. We estimated that there were 3,000 people who were turned away and watching the show in that big screen.
Tesla at Battelle Hall in Columbus, Ohio
My dad worked as the Director of Marketing for Battelle Hall and in my mullet days, Tesla was my favorite band. They had my favorite album of the year. My dad got my friends and I front row tickets to see Tesla for my birthday. We got to meet them and go backstage. My friends were more excited than I was, but that’s kind of what was cool. Singing “Signs” right back to Jeff Keith was great!
Steven Curtis Chapman at State Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio
The first ever show that we sold out before tickets went on sale to the general public. We had a per ticket deal with the radio station to run a three-month campaign. Part of that deal was that they had to offer a presale to their listeners. The presale ended up working pretty good. They received full payment without ever running a spot. It has been fifteen years since that show and I am still telling radio stations how important onsales are.
Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith Christmas at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan
December 10, 2017
(This last item took place yesterday, but Jacob submitted his Five Shows entry prior to the event, hence the future tense voice)
This show will end up being our highest grossing show in the history of Rush Concert. We will have over 9,000 tickets paid! Rush Concerts has had more sold out shows in 2017 than we have had in the past 20 years. This is the best year that Rush Concerts has ever had. I would be remiss if I didn’t include the highlight of 2017. It is a career highlight and a great way to close out the year with two of these shows.
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