There and Back
The first crazy weekend of gigs I've had in a while. Follow along:
Friday: the final Yacht Rock summer concert series gig at Park Tavern. Nothing too difficult--we even debuted a few new ones (I Love You by Climax Blues Band and Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton).
Midtown got a lot of rain in between soundcheck and the show, and the tent leaked a little bit in my area. Nothing could really be done about it, and it didn't hit any of my gear directly, so I waited it out. One leak created a pretty good sized puddle in between my saxophones, which kind of scared me, but there appeared to be no damage.
Much like the previous month, I wasn't all that excited about playing the gig, but the crowd was really enthusiastic, so it turned out to be pretty fun. Both new songs went over well, especially the duet (even though I crashed and burned on the outro). One other new song that we played was Hotel California, which we first played at this year's revival. Monkeyboy figured out how to play both parts of the outro guitar solo. Excellent work! He also tried a new cabinet with his Kemper profiling amp--Ford Fry's 65 Amp!
|"It's probably not even on anyway."|
|Kip to the rescue!|
The crowd got a bit testy after the show--a few angry girls who didn't get what they wanted (one insisted the Greg Lee sing Happy Birthday to her; another asked that we pose for a picture with her while holding her parallel to the floor like a dead fish). I don't understand why these people think they have the right to demand this kind of stuff of us.
Post gig, some guy said to me, "I loved that there was a flute part, and you could've played with a flute sound on your keyboard, but you played it on an actual flute instead!" Correct.
One sweet thing from this gig was that we had a couple of guys to haul our gear back up the hill to the parking lot. Almost all of it went straight into the trailer.
Saturday: we reassembled on three hours sleep to go play for the PGA tournament at East Lake. Ouch. 7:30 soundcheck on back lined gear (the van and trailer left town for our next gig).
This one was kind of a blur. We were tired. At one point, I was fanning Monkey with Rory McIlroy's face on a stick while he was trying to solo. That progressed to rubbing and patting his head with it, which then progressed to poking him in the butt with it. Soon after, I was attacked with Rory's and Bubba Watson's heads while trying to play Baker Street.
Here's a fun video from the event. You can't even hear me screwing up, can you? My hands and wrists got a nice cameo, though.
We played one set, packed up, and left town, headed to Charleston for a wedding reception. Hans and Kip took the van and trailer earlier with our gear plus a PA so we could make it in time for a soundcheck.
This one was rough. The coordinator was not our friend. We were crammed into a small space in a small room. I fell asleep at the table while we were waiting to be fed. There was no green room. At one point we were paraded down a stairwell full of construction tools, out on the front sidewalk, up the alley, and up another back staircase to retrieve two suitcases from a hallway and then all the way back just so we wouldn't be seen by the guests. We almost didn't get fed at all. As soon as the gig ended, the room decorators came in and began tearing their stuff down, which made our packing and load out chaotic (to say the least). One of the butthead decorators parked their box truck in front of the alley, so we had to load out down the stairwell full of construction tools and pile our gear on the sidewalk until we could get the van close enough to load. Charleston was still hot and humid after midnight.
That said, the room was pretty, that one decorator chick in the tight shorts was really hot, the people throwing and attending the reception were very cool, and the playing was good. We played the hell out Lowdown both here and at the Park Tavern (with terrific solos by Bencuya both nights).
I roomed with Greg Lee, who challenged me to a Snore War. Even though he started snoring before I fell asleep, I prevailed (by waking him up with my own snoring).
Sunday: up early again. We drove home from Charleston (five or six hours). After dividing gear, I had enough to time to go home, dump my stuff, change clothes, and head out the door to my church gig. This Sunday (and next), I picked up the mass before my usual, so I had a 4:30 rehearsal. Somehow I managed to stay awake for both, though my eyes were rolling back in my head during the homily.
Got home, ate half a pizza, watched some of the football game, and passed out on the couch.