Yacht Rock at the Variety Playhouse, Day 1

Is it right of me to allow a 30 second brain fart on one song to ruin the good vibes of an entire gig (and several weeks of hard work that led up to it)?  Probably not, but it's still happening, and for some reason the anger and embarrassment will not release their grip.

A recap of the end of this week:

Thursday:  Yacht Rock played our normal Thursday night gig at the 10 High as a final tune up before we went into the Variety Playhouse for the weekend.  Things went very well.  
By the time Thursday morning had come around, the anxiety about performing all of this material (and the potential disasters lurking inside each song) had reached sky high levels.  I set up my gear and worked through every song on the setlist, and by the time I left to go to the gig, I was almost comfortable.

We borrowed Jason Pellett from our Beatles tribute in order to create a horn section for some of the Yacht Rock stuff.  I made charts of anything where we could use him, and then killed a thousand trees printing an editing charts!  He did pretty well;  maybe a bit stiff, but it's getting there.  For me, it was a weird experience because I played acoustic saxophone on songs where I would normally play EWI.  Half the song might be a keyboard part for me, and then I would jump up and play next him, and then turn around and go back to the keyboard--pretty schizophrenic.

Friday:  Thursday ended when I got home around 2:30 AM.  Friday began at 5:30 AM, when my alarm woke me up.  Yacht Rock played on "The Regular Guys" morning show--a 6:15 AM call!  Ouch!  We played You're No Good and Heart of Rock and Roll.  I stumbled a little bit on the solo for Heart of Rock and Roll.  On You're No Good, I hold one chord for the entire chorus, and I think I stepped on the sustain pedal and put my hands behind my head.  Now I hear there's video of us...oops!  Why is there video of a radio show, anyway?!  Here's the audio, complete with one of the guys making lewd comments about Alyssa Olson while Pete (her husband!) stands right there.  I guess it's good radio, but I don't think I could have been as cool as Pete was about it.

As soon as possible, I went home and went to bed for a few hours.

We loaded into the Variety Playhouse around 1 PM (I was late, so I got there at 1:30).  I set up my stuff, warmed up, and we meandered through a soundcheck.  A shocking development:  someone in the band actually asked to have me in their monitor!  It might be the first time ever.  I'm kind of pissed, and for some reason this feels like an achievement--like someone else in the band might actually want to hear what I'm playing.

Pete blew all of these up.

Mark Cobb soundchecking.

Greg tunes the radio.

After that, there was food and a nap, and we were off!

We opened with Please Pleaserock Me, our Beatles band.  It sounded great, and we had a really good time with it.  That's a pretty easy gig for me because there are (of course) minimal horns, so I play tambourine on a few songs and clap on a few songs.  Hell, I even get to sing a little bit on Paperback Writer!  How cool is that?

Yacht Rock came out after that and rocked it.  We played great.  I'm sure everybody in the band was pretty exhausted by the time we got into it, but every person gave his all.  The crowd was pretty good--probably 600 people in total attendance?  The room was pretty full, and thankfully they mostly moved down to the open area in front of the stage, which made it feel full.

Things were going well for me--a little hiccup for me when I skipped a song and had my saxophone in hand for 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, but other than that I was making it happen.  Stayin' Alive kind of bit me in the butt--actually, I'm not sure.  That was one where I was playing sax instead of EWI, and I could hear whether what I played matched the trumpet or not because I was also playing keyboard at the same time.  Let's say I got 95 percent of it right.  

Daniel Songer came out and danced on You Should be Dancing.  Awesome!

And then...I crashed.  We played Sailing by Christopher Cross.  I play the introduction on strings.  I've played it hundreds of times with no problem.  For some reason, I drew a blank and couldn't think of it at all.  I started playing (hoping it would happen), but once I hit a wrong note, then I really couldn't think of it, and then I panicked.  I ACTUALLY STARTED THE INTRO OVER.  That was terrible.  I really wish I could have gotten up and left after that.  What the hell is wrong with me?  

That pretty much ruined the gig for me.   We played a few more songs after that and I did my best to shake it off and enjoy myself, but my little disaster destroyed my psyche.  If they'd asked me to leave the stage and never come back, I would have agreed.  

I'm not sure at what point in my career everything became do or die, but I can see how some day I will retire from performing--not because I physically cannot do it, but because mentally I cannot handle the stress of what could go wrong.  I am definitely lacking confidence at the moment.

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