Yacht Rock at the Variety Playhouse, Day 2
My previous post was probably a bit dramatic...I'm not dying, or folding, or in need of therapy. Last night was the Reagan Rock Prom at the Variety Playhouse--our second night there, this time playing music from the early 1980s.
Writing in my blog about my disasters and frustrations is cathartic. Once I put down how disappointed I was about Friday night, I felt much better and was able to focus on kicking ass Saturday. I let it go.
So here we go...I got up around noon on Saturday and started cramming for the gig that night, mostly going over a couple of tunes that were bugging me: the Top Gun anthem, True, and Hello. I headed over to the Variety Playhouse, set up, soundchecked, and practiced some more. It was really hot and muggy in there, but I assumed they hadn't begun cooling the room yet.
As we got closer to show time, we heard that the air conditioning was not working! It was unbearably hot. Everybody was sliding around on their instruments, and we were sweat soaked by the time we STARTED! The crowd was awash in runny mascara and hairspray. Everybody was uncomfortable. At intermission, Pete and Nick spoke with the head of the venue, but he was totally unapologetic about it. The argument from our end was "the first thing anyone will mention about this event was how awful the heat was." His argument was "people are enjoying themselves and nobody's complaining, so deal with it." Nice. Way to work with us, dude.
I played much better. I had fun and felt really in control of what I was doing. It was a disaster free night! That said, I did have a few funny things happen with my EWI set up. In the second song, I was playing keyboards and I tried to wake my laptop up, but it would not--it had come unplugged and the battery had run out! I plugged it back in and hit the power button, thinking it would wake back up, but instead it made the Mac start up chord (through the house PA during the song!!!!) Oops! I didn't think about that. Once I got it booted up, things were fine.
Towards the end of the first set, I started hearing weird noises coming from my amp--a low rumbling noise. I woke up my my computer and noticed a sound was still playing. Weird....I hit the space bar to kill it, but it came right back on. I played something on EWI, and then there were two sounds playing (one much softer). My laptop is screwing up! But no--it dawned on me that it was so super hot and super muggy, the EWI was playing itself! I picked it up and fingered notes, and it played without me blowing into it! The heat and humidity were so much that it was activating the breath sensor. I turned down the sensitivity and everything was fine. How crazy is that?!
We all looked like we'd played in the rain--everybody was soaked! Even an hour after we finished, sweat was still rolling off of me. When I got home two hours after the gig, my shirt was still wet. The heat was nearly unbearable.
Here are pictures: