The best part of Jim Salamenta’s job? Watching the fans having fun.
“It doesn’t matter which venue, how many tickets sold, or what type of event it is, the fun in this job is knowing you’re hosting an event that patrons will have as a great memory forever,” he wrote to Amplify.
Jim got his start as Security/Event Supervisor at the O’Neill Center in Waterford, Conn., and was hooked after his working his first show (which also happens to be one of his five favorite shows). Today, Jim is the SMG/GM at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, overseeing the three venues, including an arena, theater and convention center.
“It’s challenging, but lots of fun,” he wrote. “It’s great to have a multi-purpose arena as there always something going on whether it be a big concert, a hockey or basketball game, a play, a convention or even a wedding. I’ve got an awesome staff that keeps it all going pretty seamlessly.”
Jim also has nothing but nice things to say about SMG, a company he’s worked with for a long time now.
“Of my 21 years in the industry, 10 of them were with SMG,” he wrote. “Spectacular company to work for.”
We’re sure that SMG thinks that Jim is spectacular too. Who wouldn’t? Check out some of his favorite shows he’s worked on below:
The Offspring at O’Neill Center, 1994
This was my first big show working in the industry. I was an event security supervisor. Huge open floor, major mosh pits and MANY medical transports. We had a triage unit in our locker room area just for those injured in the pits. Awesome show and a crazy crowd.
KORN at The Maverick Center (formerly known as The “E” Center), Feb. 2000
One of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. KORN was awesome. The crowd was super intense. Seeing 10k people jump up and down in sync to a thumping KORN beat while tons of pyro was going off, was a memory I’ll never forget. I can still remember the precast underneath the bowl seating moving as people jumped and me being pretty nervous.
Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest at The Maverick Center, 1999
Earlier in the day during load-in, Mike D of the Beastie Boys walked by me in the backstage hallway and asked me where he and his guys could go play some hoops in the area where they wouldn’t be bothered. We made a phone call over to a neighborhood facility where the Utah Jazz would have their practices. They were gracious enough to let us use the facility that afternoon, so we piled the Beastie Boys and Tribe into a van and took them over to play. We played for hours and had a great time. I remember Q-Tip was a great athlete and the Beastie’s were some of the nicest guys I’d met. The show that night was amazing.
Elton John at American Bank Center, April 2010
This was the biggest concert in Corpus Christi history to date. It was by far the artist most in-demand by the community. Nobody sat down. Elton played an extra hour or so as he was loving the crowd’s enthusiasm.
Phish at The Maverick Center, 1998
Phish typically did a huge Halloween show in Vegas every year, and we were the next stop the day after. Our sales were sluggish since all the “Phish Heads” went to the big Vegas show and many of them decided to skip our market the next night. That was a mistake. Sometime during the show, [the band] came to us asking what it would cost them in expenses to play an additional 2+ hours. Phish ended up playing the entire “Dark Side of the Moon” album and it was absolutely incredible. Rumor has it that they learned all the songs in one day, which makes it even more incredible. Just being a part of a “typical” Phish show is a fun memory for many, but this one would be really tough to beat.