STG Presents’ Jason Ross was willing to take just about any job to get out of being the night manager at an adult novelty shop in Seattle. Since arriving in the home of grunge, Ross had worked various odds jobs and ended up being most disgruntled with his position at The Crypt.
For Ross, who landed the job simply by being a people-person and having a lengthy retail resume, the late hours were an issue in addition to the unreliable staff he had to manage. One of his employees at The Crypt ended up hurtiing himself in the shop’s bathroom during his break resulting in an ambulance ride to the hospital.
“It wasn’t really the scene I had signed up for, so I just checked out the last couple of months that I worked there,” Ross told Amplify. “I hated that job, so I got a different one.”
Luckily, Ross had a friend who recommended a receptionist job at MCA Concerts in Seattle. The position was only for three months during the summer, but Ross jumped at the chance to change his career trajectory.
“It started out as a temp thing and they liked me enough to keep me around and let me keep doing stuff,” Ross said. “The cool thing about that office was that they took care of people who worked there already.”
As MCA Concerts became House of Blues, a marketing coordinator job opened up and Ross applied despite his lack of experience in the field. When the House of Blues first choice didn’t work out, Ross got his shot.
“My boss at the time, Tim McGrath, was my mentor from the marketing side of the industry. He showed me the ropes and I learned the rest by doing it,” Ross said. “I slowly worked my way onto the marketing side and I have been doing marketing ever since.”
Ross worked with House of Blues until 2004 then moved over to Ticketmaster for four years. Since 2008, Ross has worked with Seattle Theater Group as the Marketing Manager for Music and Comedy — now working the night shift doesn’t bother him as much.
“I don’t mind working late at shows. It’s fun and I am networking with people and chatting with friends,” Ross said. “I’m a huge fan of live music.”
Amplify caught up with Ross to find out more about some of the best live shows he’s seen.
Prince & A Tribe Called Quest at La Zona Rosa in Austin, Texas
March 16, 2013
I entered a badge holder lottery to try to see two shows that year: Depeche Mode and Prince. Right when I landed in Austin I checked and I had won the lottery to see Prince at La Zona Rosa! Went to the sponsor store as directed to pick up my purple wristband. Got the venue hours early to get in line. People were walking the line offering $400 on their way towards the back, then upped it to $700 on their way back. NOPE!
Got inside in the first few hundred people so I had a solid spot about 15 feet or so from the stage! A Tribe Called Quest opened the show and it was my first time seeing them live so I was stoked. Great set! They all seemed to be having a great time.
When it was time for Prince, a full 22 piece band came out and started getting the crowd pumped up. Then the Purple One himself came out and held court for I think about four hours. Multiple encores. I lost count. Such an amazing show!!!
Beastie Boys at The Crocodile in Seattle, Washington
May 25, 2007
The Beastie Boys were headlining Sasquatch! Festival in 2007 and did a warm up show at The Croc. I remember the anticipation standing in line. The Beasties came out dressed in suites and got behind their instruments and proceeded to tear thru an amazing set. To see one of my first favorite bands in a small club with 500 people was pretty damn cool!
Nirvana (with Mudhoney and others) at Carver Gym in Bellingham, Washington
Oct. 3, 1992
The only time I ever got to see Nirvana play live. It was a ‘Rock the Vote’ tour in 1992 with Mudhoney as the headliner. A way to get college kids registered to vote. Tickets were $6 or $2 if you registered. I paid my $6 (was already registered!) and went in with my buddies. I remember sitting through a couple of (what I thought were) mediocre bands before what I thought would be Mudhoney coming on to close out the show.
I remember talking to my buddies and not paying much attention to the set change, then looked up and was like ‘Hey, that’s Dave Grohl. And that’s Kris Novacelic and HOLY SHIT! Nirvana is on stage and about to play right now!!!.’
They played for about 90 mins and it was such a great show. I remember at the end they brought a couple kids onto the stage and Kurt and Kris handed each kid their guitar / bass and they and the crowd egged the kids on to smash the instruments. The kids were almost too small to lift the damn things but they sure tried!
Pearl Jam at Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington
Sept. 1, 2005
One of my favorite bands at my all time favorite outdoor venue. Also proposed to my now wife Lisa at this show. She and I had met when Pearl Jam played The Showbox (Market) back in 2002. Knowing I would propose at the show, I managed to get us 5th row center seats. Proposed at the very top of the hill, overlooking the crowd and that amazing view, as the sun was setting. Got a round of applause from the crowd around us at the time.
As we were walking to our seats from the top of the hill, the band opened with “I Believe In Miracles” and it was just a perfect moment! We got to our seats and obviously had an amazing vantage point. A couple of songs in I saw something hurtling thru the air towards me and looked up just in time to catch one of Matt Cameron’s drum sticks.
A year later PJ would play a 2-night set at The Gorge, I was able to take my Mom (who was battling cancer) to her last ever concert at The Gorge which was always her favorite place to see a show too. It was like 110 degrees at that show, and she was out there having an amazing time and did better in the heat than I did!
Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Jim Rose Circus Side Show at PNE Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia
Sept. 27, 1994
I was a big NIN fan back when Broken and Pretty Hate Machine came out, but missed ever seeing them live. I ended up driving up to Vancouver with some friends to the Downward Spiral tour. Had never heard of either of the support acts. The Jim Rose show was a trip, lots of human oddities. Marilyn Manson came on and I tripped out. He was wearing a black rubber speedo with an “appendage” in the front, which he was dry humping Twiggyduring a solo. It was a trippy show from an artist that would go on to world wide fame and who I would have a few incidents with at shows once I became a promoter.
But the highlight of the show was Nine Inch Nails. I had never seen a band put as much effort into a performance as they did that night! Especially Trent. He had to be literally dragged off the stage at the end of the show because he didn’t have energy to walk. The visuals on the translucent screen they had in front of them were a trip.