July 3 and 4

Saturday, July 3, I played a set with the Schooner in LaGrange, approximately seventy miles south of Atlanta.  From what I heard, we played for someone's twenty-fifth birthday.  All I know was that it was in somebody's backyard, and the house and yard were Southern Living immaculate.

We debuted two new songs--Diamond  Girl and Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do).  Both were a little shakey, but for a first attempt in public, they went fine.  I did my part, botching the solo on Arthur's.  As is usual with the Schooner, all my stuff was in the first set, so I got back home around the time they finished the gig.

I went to bed around 1-1:30 AM and got up at 5 AM.  We (Yacht Rock) had to be in Piedmont Park at 6 AM to load for the Peachtree Road Race.  We played as the crowds finished the race and the awards were finished, approximately 8:30 AM til 11 AM.

It was a terrific gig (other than the time frame!).  The sound was terrific;  the crew was pleasant;  the monitors were cool.  At 7:30 AM we did a soundcheck, and I played some nasty split-tone altissimo Bb's that were deafeningly loud through the PA.  That was awesome.

We loaded out across the park at the Park Tavern parking lot around noon.  We were not expected at Turner Field for the game until 1:30, so Bencuya, Dannells, and myself went to Dannells' house to change clothes and eat.  We ended up hitting the Felini's in Candler Park.  From there, we made our way to the Braves stadium for the biggest show of our lives.

Our first stop was the field to rehearse the National Anthem.  Crazy.  I was surprised that the grass is as short as it is.  The field is immaculate.  We sang a couple of times (through the mics--we were audible all the way over where the Olympic torch is on the other side of Fulton County Stadium!), and the fighter plane guys timed us for coordinating with the pilots for the flyover.

Here's video of the rehearsal:

From there, we set our gear on the stage (which is on wheels and was set up in the tunnel).  We soundchecked and went up to our box to hang out. A while later we were escorted to a waiting room before we went out onto the field and sang the National Anthem (complete with jet fighters flying over!).  It was surreal.  I wasn't nervous, but I was so focused on singing I don't remember anything until it was over. Here's video of our performance: We watched the game;  the Braves lost to the Marlins 3-2.  Just before the game ended, I went down and boarded the stage for the ride out on the field.  After the game ended, the right field gate opened and we rolled out.  After a quick line check (I played a little bit of Lonely Boy), we were off.
The gig was pretty easy.  I wasn't nervous;  it was just another gig.  The stage bounced like crazy, which made keeping the horn in your face a bit difficult.  Fortunately (I guess), the gig is mostly keyboards and EWI these days. Some videos: We finished up around 9:30 PM, and stood on the stage watching the fireworks.  A pretty cool way to the end the day. It's going to be tough to go back to the 10 High! davidfreemanmusic.net

We went and set up on the stage (on wheels) in the tunnel.  A quick soundcheck and we were done.

Up in the box we hung out for a bit, changed clothes, and ate before we headed down to a holding room before the Star Spangled Banner.  The escorted us onto the field, and here's how it went:

What a moment!  I wasn't nervous at all, but I was so totally focused on singing that I don't remember anything about being out there.  It was amazing, though.

Back to our box;  we watched the Braves lose to the Marlins 3-2.  Right at the end of the game I went back down to the tunnel, and once the gate opened in right field I rode the stage out onto the field.

Here are some videos from our performance:

What a night!

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