Another trip to the midwest.  No Pete on these gigs due to the impending birth of his son.

Friday:  Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
We flew into Indy pretty early, giving us ample time to go find lunch.  Kip never seems to want to eat what the majority is eating, so the rest of us went to some place called Bakersfield and had really good Mexican food and left him at the pizza place.  We later regrouped at the van, where we found him trying out his new chair.

We still had time before load in, so the van made its way to Broad Ripple and we dispersed again, mostly to the record store.  Nice to see one of my college heroes, Rob Dixon, still making music in Indy.

The rain moved in while we were setting up, flooding the parking lot.

A sold out show.  Nice!

Saturday:  Chicago.

Indianapolis and Chicago are not very far apart, so we killed time with a band field trip to see Jason Bourne.  I hadn't been to the movies since the latest Stars Wars came out last winter.  This theatre served food, which was pretty cool--I've never been to one like this before.

I sat next to Monkeyboy.

On to Chicago.  I will spare you any pictures of the beloved wind farm...because I was asleep and missed all that.  Instead, here's a shot from our gas stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere in northern Indiana.

The high in Chicago was 75.

Our show at Joe's on Weed Street was pretty good--around 500 people in attendance, but their energy was at least as good as the 1,000 people from the night before.  The on stage sound was also twice as good as the night before.

Both this show and the previous evening in Indy had horns added on (same guys for both shows).  I'm not sure exactly why, but when we play with horns, I feel almost no connection to the other Yacht Rock guys, and also almost no connection to the gig that we're doing.  I guess I don't really feel much of a connection to the horn section either.  All we're doing is going over my arranging homework.

Sunday:  Fly home.  I thought for sure that I'd sleep on the plane, but instead watched most of Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, which was ok--pretty predictable.  I didn't make it all the way to the end, but it doesn't matter.

We landed around lunch time.  I had enough time to head home, eat, warm up, and head back south of Atlanta for my first night subbing in the pit for Miss Saigon, playing piccolo, flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone (it's a hybrid of the reed books 1 and 3).  For this performance, the pit is inside a massive steel shipping container.  Let's hope the power doesn't go out this time (you can read about my previous adventure at this playhouse here), though that made for an excellent story.

I've done quite a bit of practicing getting ready for this show, but it doesn't seem like it can ever be enough, mostly because after learning all the notes and rhythms, I still have to get in sync with the conductor and rest of the ensemble, which may be the hardest part (and there's some really difficult shit to play in a few of these songs).  In addition to this night's show, I also have Wednesday through Saturday, so maybe Friday and Saturday, I'll have the flow of it?

I think I did pretty well for the first time--there were even a few moments where I actually thought I was doing a good job, but by the end of the show, my face (and my brain) were exhausted, and I had one big exposed flute part that was rough--I could feel everybody in the box cringe as I tried to hold it together.  If I'd had twenty seconds of rest right before the part, it would have made all the difference in the world.  I might have to do a little editing during the big ensemble part immediately proceeding it.

The pit thing is weird--nobody talks to each other after the show ends.  Everybody packs up really quickly and walks out, and on this night it reinforced my feeling that I'd blown it because of rough eight measure flute solo on the ninety-fourth page of the book.  By the time I'd cleaned out all my horns and put everything away, I was the only one left.  I enjoyed the challenge of trying to play all of this stuff, but the total absence of any camaraderie leaves me once again feeling alone on the gig.

One more thing:  they theatre company hired a real Huey helicopter to fly in and touch down for a minute during the fall of Saigon.  Not only do I not get to see it (because I'm in a giant steel box and I'm glued to the music), but I'm not even sure that I hear it.  Major bummer--I love helicopters.  More unfulfillment!

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