Quartet Gig

Yacht Rock had another rehearsal for next week's big shows at the Variety Playhouse:  Journey and YR one night (with former Journey singer Steve Augeri fronting the band) and Thriller and YR the next evening.

Tuesday evening I had a quartet gig with David Ellington (organ), Henry Conerway III (drums), and Jacob Deaton (guitar).  This was a weird one.  For starters, the address on the contract was incorrect.  I called the venue and got the correct address:  it was at that Washington Square looking thing in the middle of 17th Street.  Load in there is difficult--there's no good spot to park and get your gear out, so you basically just stop on 17th, throw on your hazard lights, and go for it.  We got down there (we were in a tent behind the Washington Square thing), and the tent was super hot, and of course we were requested to set up where the sunlight was blazing through the plastic window of the tent.  No power was available in that area, but a chef from the caterer and I found a spot where we could split off from the lights, and a venue guy found us an extension cord.  It just now dawned on me that I left my power strip which we'd used divide the electricity.

We set up and played the first half hour soaked in sweat.  Dave and Henry were so hot that they were in T shirts.

Someone must have called the tent people and asked for portable air conditioning, because a couple of guys showed up with giant ducts to pump in cold air.  Two vents to one side of us, and two immediately behind the band.  These things were blasting freezing air, so we went from sweaty to freezing quickly--everybody put his suit coat on.  The whole time, our charts were being blown everywhere.  My saxophone began the day pretty damn sharp, and by the end of the evening I'm getting pretty flat.

At some point in the gig we decided that we were cool enough, and I kicked the vents back out of the tent.

So...on to the music.  Not bad.  The band was pretty loose, which kind of frustrated me at times, but overall I think the playing was pretty cool.  I had hoped that Dave and I would play enough duo gigs that as we added other players, we'd still be able to keep the same focus and vibe, but it's not working out that way--both this quartet gig and the one I did a few weeks ago were both a little too...self-indulgent, maybe? for my taste.  Both felt more like jam sessions than gigs.

Anyway...we fulfilled our only requests of the evening:

1.  Turn down
2.  Play When the Saints Go Marching In

The person who made the song request immediately left the tent.  We played it, but I don't know why.  Some sort of test?

Afterwards, I went around the side of the tent to retrieve our cases, only to find that the duct work had completely surrounded them, so I had to wrestle them out of the way so that we could pack up.

Post gig, we did the same game of gear-loading-chicken with the traffic, this time in the dark.  Each of us was nearly rear-ended on 17th Street at least three times.  It makes me wonder how anybody gets in or out of this place, or where they're supposed to park.  Weird night.  I'm not as comfortable handling this kind of stress as I used to be.

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