El Monstero by the (Staggering) Numbers

Slideshow: El Monstero's 2012 Pageant Shows

El Monstero's Kevin Gagnepain at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater last summer. Slideshow: El Monstero's 2012 Pageant Shows
El Monstero's Kevin Gagnepain at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater last summer. Slideshow: El Monstero's 2012 Pageant Shows Kholood Eid

The promised apocalypse was not delivered. Not that such a paltry thing as the end of the world could stop El Monstero now. When all signs of humanity have been cast into the fiery pits and the flesh has been rent from every sinner on the planet, the Pageant will be spared and for the rest of post-apocalyptic eternity, the pink beast Monstero will rule over the wasteland. This weekend El Monstero 2012: The Pigocalypse finishes a seven-night run at the Pageant. You can still see the most extravagant Pink Floyd tribute this side of Roger Waters' "The Wall" tour this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

One of many reasons El Monstero is so unbelievably successful is the theatricality of it all — it's definitely profitable, but to say it spares no expense on production is a dramatic understatement. It also has to do with the players, all spectacular musicians in their own right, and a long history of success built on success. It's hard to explain just how enormous this thing is with words alone, which is why we gathered this set of facts and figures to put it all in perspective.

Bow before your new pig overlord.

Slideshow: El Monstero's 2012 Pageant Shows

How a Tradition Expands
El Monstero debuted at Mississippi Nights in 1999. It moved to the Pageant in 2000 and has been adding shows to its December residency ever since. There were:
Two shows in 2002.
Three shows in 2004.
Four shows in 2006.
Five shows in 2007.
Six shows in 2008.
And there will be seven shows in 2012. That makes for a total of 53 shows by the time the new year rolls around, not counting a pair of outdoor amphitheater installments in the summer and a few out-of-town dates.

Could You Host the Current Arrangement of El Monstero in Your House?
Sure! As long as you had the space and electrical capacity for the following.
36,000 watts to devote to video
63,800 watts to devote to audio
12,250 feet of microphone cabling
20 subwoofers
11 keyboards
24 Turbosound Flex Array Speaker "top" boxes

Moving Units
That first concert in 1999 sold 882 tickets.

The Pageant has a capacity around 1,600 people. At press time, the show has sold out six times over and is likely to get there once more.

As of this article, El Monstero has sold a total of 101,964 tickets in its fourteen years.

What Will I Hear?

Song selection varies from year to year, with some new obscurities added for diehard fans. There are, however, seven songs that make every setlist. The are:

Have a Cigar
Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. II)
Is There Anybody Out There?
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I to V)
Wish You Were Here
Comfortably Numb

And here is the most recent complete setlist from July 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater:
Free Four
Arnold Layne
Have a Cigar
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. II)
Empty Spaces
Young Lust
One of My Turns
Hey You
Is There Anybody Out There?
Run Like Hell
Echoes (Pt. 1)
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Echoes (Pt. 2)
Pigs on the Wing
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I to V)
Speak to Me
On the Run
The Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Brain Damage
Wish You Were Here
Comfortably Numb

Who Will I See?
Five musicians have played with the band for its entire fourteen-year run:  Dave Farver (sax), Kevin Gagnepain (bass), Mark Thomas Quinn (vocals/guitar), Bryan Greene (guitar) and Erminie Cannon (vocals).

Guitarist Jimmy Griffin joined seven years ago.

There will be roughly twenty people on stage during each of the 2012 shows. Besides Quinn, Griffin, Gagnepain, Greene, Cannon and Farver, this installment features John Pessoni (drums), Bill Reiter (keyboards), Jake Elking (keyboards), Tandra Williams and Mindy Mierek (vocals), two guest vocalists, a percussionist, a groupie, three cops, a headmaster and several pole dancers and aerialists.

The production staff, including engineers; a wardrobe, hair and make up department; band photographer; videographer and tech people comprises about 30 people.

Favazz from KSHE 95 (94.7 FM) has played the role of MC all fourteen years.

The Remainder
This year El Monstero will burn a total of 640 pounds of propane lighting off pyrotechnics in the Pageant.

By February 3, 2013, El Monstero will have played in five cities: St. Louis, Terre Haute, Iowa City, Chicago and Kansas City.

Venue manager Pat Hagin caught 45 crappie — considered by many to be the best-tasting freshwater fish — the week before this year's run of El Monstero shows. Maybe it's a good omen or maybe Hagin is just a really good fisherman.

Slideshow: El Monstero's 2012 Pageant Shows

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