Last night’s gig was pretty successful. We’ve played three shows together and they’ve all been at the same place. The crowd was smaller but respectable. Very respectable considering we had a snow storm that morning. The conditions were okay by the evening though so no one risked life and limb coming to see us. Thankfully.
There was a shorter than usual (for us) turn around between last night and the previous show, and the holidays made scheduling rehearsals difficult, so there were only three new songs. One really surprised me. Someone dug up a really heavy arrangement of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” and we learned it. It is really fun to play, but I thought it would be a dud with the audience. Nope, it got the best reaction of the night. I couldn’t believe it. I guess ol’ Phil just does that to people. Now we do one Phil Collins song and one Peter Gabriel song. I think we should learn some Genesis for the next show. I’m thinking “Return of the Giant Hogweed”.
We need to figure out how to manage time better. Kevin the drummer put together three setlists, all with 11 songs and all about the same running time. We plan on doing three sets, with each one starting at the top of the hour. It never works out that way. We always end up cutting songs from set #3. Last night we started right on time. The second set started a few minutes late but it was close. We tried editing the second set on the fly to suit the crowd’s mood and we ended up with 13 songs. It was long. Very long. Somehow we, as usual, ended up starting the last set at 11:30ish and we had to skip around. The setlist for the third set always ends up being more suggestions than rules. Whatever. One of these days we’ll get the timing right.
Speaking of set lengths, I was very happy to learn that the other guys were all running out of gas by the end of each set and I wasn’t the only one. The last song or two in the first set were tough. My hands were feeling tired and weak and I couldn’t do some of the things I wanted to do. Same with the second set. The last two or three songs were tough. On the third set we were about halfway through and I was toast. I actually had to insist on dropping one song because I didn’t think I could physically play it anymore. What is the solution to a problem like this? Practice. Lots of it. Practice builds up stamina. That’s what I need, and what it sounds like all of us need. Not rehearsals, but sitting at home and practicing. That would help a lot. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough hours in the day most times. We do our best.
I did not wear ear plugs at all last night. I wanted to hear my guitar as it really sounded. The result? It sounded okay at first. For the rest of the show? Who knows. I was loudish, and standing right next to the drummer who was also loud. By the second set my ears were completely fried. Everything sounded like mush. I couldn’t make out any details to any of the sounds were were making. It was sort of like a great big loud wash of white noise. Fortunately I recovered pretty quickly and my ears are fine today. I think maybe all the years of insisting on ear plugs might be paying off. If I subjected myself to that much volume without protection on a regular basis, I think my ears would be shot pretty much all the time. The moral of the story? Wear ear plugs.
We booked two more shows at Racks Bar and Grill. One for April and one for June. I will be posting about them as they get closer. You should all go. It is a lot of fun. Honestly. No, really. I promise.