Headed to Florida for some Yacht Rock gigs. What could go wrong?

Wednesday: Our carpool uses the Park and Ride at Atlanta's airport, and sometimes we are unlucky to  have this woman as our shuttle driver. We have nicknamed her Tips because she spends entire five or six minute drive to the airport ceaselessly dishing out all sorts of crap about apps that could save our lives (or help find our cars) and the children who might die if we don't. I used to suffer in silence, but now I can't help but actively ignore her. I wish I had a jew's harp or something to play on the ride. Join the resistance!

Our flight to Ft. Meyers was massively delayed. Bad weather in Florida. Two hours late! I ate some horrible "veggies and rice" concoction at a Chinese restaurant.

The gig was a corporate event, heavy on the 80s stuff (the company was founded in 1987). The Great  Bencuya was a freshman in college (you were too, Beth Freeman). I was in eighth grade...in Florida! Damnit! Anyway, not too bad for a private gig on a Wednesday night, and the vegetarian meal was pretty good.

Thursday: We were supposed to have a public show in this same local (Bonita Springs, FL), but the venue and the promoter evidently are fighting, and neither would promote the show. Thus, we sold zero tickets for this performance. The show was cancelled, and we had the day and night off.

Friday: Back in the van, we boogied up to St. Petersburg for a public show at Jannus Live, an outdoor stage that basically faced into an alley in the middle of a city block. Our first really hot outdoor adventure of the year. It was so hot that my saxophones were crazy sharp--both mouthpieces pulled out more than a quarter inch for soundcheck (where a sixteenth in or out is common for most rooms).

We had an opening band for this show, and they opened their set with a wedding ceremony! The bass player married her boyfriend, and then she removed the lower half of her dress (revealing snazzy white pants underneath), and played their gig. Something new I have never seen. They were pretty good.

Our gig was also pretty good! We added a new song for this run--Kenny Loggins' Heart to Heart. In case you missed it in 1982, here's what it sounds like.

Here's the solo. I'm great on this at soundcheck, but I get tripped up on the gig.

We had a good turnout for the show--plenty of new fans sprinkled in among the wedding reception partiers. 

Also, I should mention that the temperature had cooled significantly by our start time, and when I retuned my saxophones, they were much closer to the normal mouthpiece positions.

photo cred: Kip Conner!

A setlist:
This was parked outside of our hotel. Totally a "retired in Florida" thing. Good god.

Saturday: Killed some time in St. Pete until the skies turned angry, and then hopped on I-4 and headed to Orlando.

This evening's show...the House of Blues! I'm a little disappointed that our show was at Disney, which to me (as someone who lived in central Florida for all of middle school and high school), is a bit far away from the city limits--I mean, it's more than 20 minutes from downtown...but...I like playing the Houses (?) of Blues. I take it back. The stages are big, the room sounds good, the crew moves our gear, the green room is spacious. No complaints!

I really don't know anybody in Orlando anymore, and I've been gone twenty-five years, so I didn't invite anyone to the show. When I graduated high school and moved away, I very deliberately shook the sand from my shoes and never looked back. HOWEVER!...I was freaking out for the first five or six songs of the gig just thinking about the possibilities of who could be in the audience...who might be following my career from afar and showed up, or who might be here and not even realize that we used to be friends or classmates. My head was spinning until I finally settled into the gig.

photo cred: Kip!

photo cred: Kip Conner!

photo cred: Mr. Kippen Conner

I took this one.

photo cred: Greg Lee

Wow! We had about nine hundred people in the room with us for our second public show in central Florida. Orlando showed up in force! It was a great end to our trip.

This week! Birmingham, Alabama Friday night and New Town, North Dakota Saturday night. See you at the airport.

Popular posts from this blog


European Vacation

Northeast Run