Last night’s gig is over. How did it go?
Well, we were singing through a bass amp again. There was that, right? We got to the bar and found out that their PA was taken down. One of the speakers was still hanging from the ceiling, but otherwise it was gone. The board was missing in action. They told us they blew one of the speakers again and rather than fix it they were getting out of the house PA business. Would have been nice to know that before we showed up without a PA. They helped us out enough by digging out the mixing board and the speaker cables. We had the PA running stage left and the bass amp stage right. It worked.
Performance wise, for me personally, I think it might have been the sloppiest, screwupiest public performance I’ve ever done. I was just a mess. Not all the time, but enough to just feel dumb and incompetent and not very good at guitar. For the band in general, it was pretty good. No disastrous train wrecks. Over all a good feel. The crowd was on the gigantic side, for us at least. It was Kevin’s wife’s birthday and people came from all around to celebrate. It was pretty cool.
Equipment wise… holy shit! So the plan was to have one last gig with the Gibson ES-335 before retiring it and possibly selling it or trading it in for a new model. It started out well, except that the volume level on stage was high enough that I was screeching out some nasty squierrely feedback. Not good harmonic feedback, but bad crap-you’re-too-loud feedback. Then, about half way through the first set, we had a song that required me to switch pickups. I was on the neck pickup with the volume way down, trying to be clean and quiet. I needed to switch to the bridge pickup with the volume on full, and also step on my fuzz pedal and an overdrive pedal set to boost, all at the same time. I performed the maneuver flawlessly (if I do say so myself) and… nothing. Uh oh. I switched back to the neck, cranked the volume, and continued. The song moved back and forth between silent verse and super noisy chorus and each time there was a problem. The last time, I actually dropped out on the neck pick up too. Oh shit. When we got to the last quiet spot, I swapped guitars. I swapped guitars, mid song! That was a first for me. Mike thought I broke a string, but it was much worse than that. I played my Les Paul for the rest of the night. I still haven’t plugged the 335 back in to see how bad it is. I am frankly afraid to.
But what about the great Big Muff plus mid boost question? Well, I didn’t use it a lot but when I did it was pretty good. I had a Wren and Cuff Tri Pi ’70 followed by an Electro Harmonix Soul Food. It worked. I could hear everything even while the drums and bass were cranking along. I used it in favor of just straight overdrive twice in the first set and it was great. When I used it in the second set though, it was boomy and kinda farty. I blame that on the amp. It had been running for about three hours at that point (on standby when we weren’t playing) and I am guessing maybe it was just running too hot? I actually shut the amp off in between the second and third set and when I went to fuzz after that it was a little better. Something to think of in the future.
What other screwups can I share? Most of my strumming bits during solos were sloppy. I kept sliding around the neck and missing my target fret. Crap. There was also a pedal snafu. I got distracted by some stage banter. The drummer’s son was in the audience. The singer made a postman joke that threw me off in a big way. The next song started clean and then needed to switch to fuzz. I forgot about the pedals until about three beats after the fuzz needed to start, and then I stomped on the pedals and just plain missed. Everyone caught that screw up. Absolutely everyone.
So to sum up, the band as a whole was good. The crowd was great. Me personally… I was kinda shit.