I Can't Sustain It

Last night's Yacht Rock show was a dry run of the BeeGees stuff before tonight's big Andrews Upstairs gig.  I realize that this blog has become the catalog of my failures, but here's how it all went down:

First problem of the night was with the setlists. Somehow the setlist that Nick had sent out for Thursday did not come on the email I received, so to me it looked like both Thursday and Friday were the same thing.  I printed set lists for myself, Greg, Bencuya, and Cobb.  Right off the bat, we had to deal with that.

I discovered that my sustain pedal for the top keyboard was dead.  Luckily, there was an extra pedal in the crap behind the stage.  I plugged it in and it worked.  One problem solved!

As I was getting dressed before the gig, I realized that I'd forgotten my shades, so I had to sprint out to my truck and grab real sunglasses.

We trudged through the BeeGees stuff in the first set.  I don't think anything went horribly wrong, but we were all very unsure of ourselves, and I think it sounded that way.  Sometimes with this band, we come out and you can tell by the vibe (before we even hit the stage) that we are going to kick your ass.  Instead, we were kind of uptight.  I had some problems...I missed an entire chunk of Night Fever because I got lost in my chart.  I stumbled and had to stop playing in How Deep is Your Love.  The other ones were fine.  I wish I wasn't reading off charts for some of them, but I like having them there for the comfort factor.  We finished out the set with some Yacht Rock stuff that was pretty unspectacular.

After the break, we hit again (I should point out that the "Most Yachtily Dressed" contest was excellent last night, and it's been downright pathetic for some months!).  Everything felt really heavy, like we'd expended all of our mental energy in the BeeGees thing and had nothing left to give.  As for myself, I felt like I was a split second off on everything.  I couldn't quite get my brain up to speed--kind of like I was drunk, except I hadn't been drinking.

My laptop did the "underwater sound" where the processor gets backed up by too much delay and reverb in Africa, causing me to totally bail on the solo.  Very embarrassing, to say the least.  A couple of songs later we got into Hot Child in the City, and coming out of the bridge, the sustain pedal that I'd dug out from behind the stage started messing up.  It wouldn't stop sustaining!  I thought it was the keyboard, so I turned the volume down and then back up, but it was still sustaining.  I stomped on the pedal, but it was still sustaining!  Finally, I just turned off the keyboard.  That reset it.

Things were ok for a second, but the next song was Somebody's Baby, and the sustain pedal went haywire again, so I reached behind the board and yanked it out.  That fixed it!  I moved my other sustain pedal down to the bottom keyboard and things were fine.  We labored through a few more songs, and then I needed the pedal for the top keyboard, so I reached behind and yanked the plug out and put it in the top board.  No sustain!  Is it really possible for me to have gone through three pedals in one gig?  I really wanted to leave at that point.  I kept stomping on the pedal and trying to play my part.  Afterwards, it dawned on me that instead of plugging the sustain pedal in, I'd grabbed the plug for the volume pedal.  Stupidity reigns again.

I came home in a foul mood thinking that everything I'd played was horrible.  I played through all the BeeGees stuff again, and found that I did have a good bit of it under my fingers, and I remembered all the things I did correctly.  Maybe the second set damaged my feeling for the first?  Now I'm not so sure it was really horrible.  The second set was pretty horrendous, for sure.

Today I have a new sustain pedal (and an emergency pedal stashed behind the seat in my truck.  I am practicing my stuff (again), trying to get it all a little more in my head and under my fingers before tonight.
www.davidfreemanmusic.net

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