Wednesday, Yacht Rock flew to Washington DC for a gig in Maryland. While we were waiting for the van and trailer to pick us up, Monkeyboy spotted Mike Stern (who played with Blood Sweat and Tears, Miles Davis, Michael Brecker, Steps Ahead, and the Brecker Brothers) in baggage claim. I think we startled him, but he was a good sport about it.
Today's gig was a corporate party for insurance people, and they added Robbie Dupree and Matthew Wilder onto the bill. Kip and Zack had made the trip north the day before, and they had about half our gear set up before we even arrived (practicing for Saturday).
Much time was available between soundcheck and dinner, so I headed out for a run. Started in Maryland, ran across the bridge to Virginia, and came back.
|the path alongside I-495|
|Washington, DC in the distance|
|National Harbor ferris wheel|
Also on this gig was Matthew Wilder and Robbie Dupree. Always a fun hang with those two.
|Matthew and Pete|
The gig was predictably very sterile, as you'd expect several hundred insurance people to be. We only played for about an hour, and for more than half that time, we played to an empty dance floor. I think they liked it, but everybody just sat there in the dark, watching. When Robbie came out for his two songs, he remarked that "it looks like an oil painting!"
As we got closer to the end, we did get some dancers, though. Easy enough for a Wednesday night.
We flew home the next morning.
Saturday, we reconvened for a flight to Charlotte. Kip and Zack had brought the gear down from DC and set everything up very early (7:30 AM load in) for this day's show at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
There was plenty of time to kill, so we ate at the Charlotte airport. Here's a very wet pizza that a guy made for me. Without any cheese to hold it together, I couldn't pick it up! Didn't taste too bad, though.
On to the racetrack. This was a stock car race, but not with the big NASCAR guys (they raced on Sunday)--I guess these guys were kind of like the developmental/farm team guys? We hung out in a hot tent in the infield, waiting for the thing to finish so that we could play. The whole thing was such a bizarre confluence of rednecks and money; I think we all decided to just play our show and get the hell out of there.
|checking the set up|
I don't know...it was a gig. We played it. At least by the time we got on stage, much of the heat had dissipated, and it sounded pretty good.
After the gig, we packed everything up and went back to our hotel. The van and trailer continued on into the night, headed to tomorrow's gig.
Sunday: Onward we go, this time from Charlotte to Nashville.
This gig was for the kickoff of the Nashville Predators' season (hockey), and we were on a stage and it was 96 degrees, and all my gear was sitting in direct sunlight, and it was hot and miserable. My keyboards were so hot that I couldn't touch the metal frames, my saxophone mouthpieces were nearly a half an inch out from where I normally play, and my phone overheated and shut down. I did my best to baby my laptop/EWI rig so that they didn't give up, too.
It's irritating to me that no production company would leave your gear out if it was raining, but nobody has any issue with high heat/direct sunlight and electronics. This one sucked.
We loaded off the stage quickly so that the next band could get going (another run your gear off and pack it somewhere else thing), and once we had everything back in the trailer, headed home to Atlanta. I put on the previous day's t shirt and underwear because my clothes were too wet with sweat to wear for the four hours home. Yuck! Where the hell is fall?