Birmingham

Yacht Rock made another pilgrimage to Birmingham, Alabama Friday night, our second attempt to break into another regional live music market.

But first...more tire troubles!  Remember, if you will, that we had a bad back tire on the van a couple of weeks ago on our trip to Nashville?  The other back tire went bad on this trip, so we had to pull over in Hoover, AL and pick up a new tire.  We were extremely fortunate that someone could take care of it immediately.


Our previous adventure in Birmingham was at Saturn, a pretty cool venue with a place to spend the night upstairs (you can read about it here).  This time, we were across the street at Avondale Brewing Company on their outdoor stage.  Pretty cool.  It's like a festival stage in the backyard of the brewery. The staff is excellent and friendly.  A very hip place to play!


Pretty cool gig.  It'd been a while since we'd played a regular ol' Yacht Rock gig, so there was a little rust, but nothing too major.  The crowd was pretty good--we're still building momentum in this market--a few hundred people?  I'm not a good judge of the crowd size.  They seemed to really enjoy the show, but they would get very quiet between songs, which is a little odd.

My own performance was flawed by a gear problem:  the solo on Africa was a disaster, due to a bad MIDI cable (I think!).  Sometimes the signal to switch patches would go through from the pedal to the MIDI to USB convertor and sometimes it would not, and when it would not and I would try again, then it would leapfrog the patch that I wanted.  So Africa...intro sound (kalimbas), then switch to first solo patch, play first phrase, switch to the next patch, play second phrase, switch to the next phrase, play the third phrase.  Instead, I played the intro sound, switched to begin the solo, but the sound didn't change, and that threw me off.  I hit my pedal twice to try and jump to the second phrase sound, but the sound switched to the third phrase sound, so that didn't work.  I tried to back it up to get to the second phrase sound while I was playing, but ended up passing that and ending up on the first phrase sound, so I just gave up.

What the hell just happened?  I thought maybe that I'd stepped on the wrong button on the switching pedal, but there was no time to stop and troubleshoot the damn thing.  The only other song that used EWI in the set was Rosanna, and I thought that there'd be no problem--no switching sounds!  However, the sound changed inexplicably to the sound after my solo patch.  So, once again, I began the solo on the wrong sound, but this time when I tried to revert to the previous sound, it worked, and I made it through the solo.

Post-gig, I tried to switch patches, and sometimes it worked (but sometimes it didn't).  The switching pedal numbers were changing on time when I would step on the button, but the MIDI to USB didn't always see the signal, so I've swapped out the MIDI cable and hopefully that will fix it!  I checked it yesterday and it worked in my kitchen, but I'll be scared to death of it for the next half dozen gigs.

This venue had loaders (yay!), and they use a forklift from the brewery to get gear on and off the stage.  I've never seen this before.   Usually, there's a ramp.


One of the stagehands was amused that I was taking pictures of the forklift, and when I told her that I'd never seen this in any other venue I'd ever played, she explained that it was the easiest way to get gear on and off the stage.  What about a ramp?  She said that they would need a sixteen foot ramp for a stage of this height, and you can only purchase a sixteen foot ramp from Europe.  That didn't seem right, so as we drove away, I did a quick internet search on my phone.  







Loading out with a forklift is more fun, I bet. 

After the gig, we had pizza from Post Office Pies.  Maybe we were really hungry, but the general consensus was that this was some of the best pizza we've ever eaten anywhere.  Wow!

In other news, here are a couple of pictures, courtesy of Mixtape Atlanta, of the 2016 Revival.



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