(Fair warning in advance… Any supporters of George W. Bush may wish to avoid my posting tomorrow. I know I said I was going to post something anti-Bush on the “last day” of his term, but that’s technically the 20th, which I’d rather think of as Barack Obama’s FIRST day. So I’m posting the thing that might bug you tomorrow, the 19th.)
Okay. So the first Blue Tattoo gig has now come and gone. Many of you were not there. Some of you were. I don’t blame those of you who tried but gave up. The place was really hard to find because the sign for the street it’s on is fairly obscured. Not the venue’s fault, but I’m sure it hurts them pretty regularly. Wish there was something more they could do about it…but that’s in the city’s hands. We all know how that usually works out.
The Chapel is a really cool venue. One of the nicest venues I’ve ever played, in fact. It apparently either used to be or still is a part of the church behind which it sits. Looks like it, too. Kind of a different and fun setting for a (“secular”) rock show. They really go out of their way to make the bands feel welcome and give them the money they earned. (We made $180, by the way. Not bad!) The staff is really nice and they seem to want the band to have a good time. They’re limited by a few things right now. They don’t have a liquor license (which explains why you get the two free drinks, and further explains why you have a two-drink MAXIMUM as an audience member — which I didn’t fully understand going in). That tends to hold them back a little…but at the same time, I’ve played to so many sloppy drunks that I’m actually not too bugged by that. Kind of nice to play to a sober crowd in fact. They also have some sound-issues, a lot of which can be blamed on the size and shape of the room. But that stuff’s all deal-with-able (invented that phrase myself!). The venue’s cool enough that it doesn’t really ruin the night for you, unless you’re just one of those pains-in-the-ass who likes to start trouble. All in all a really cool place to play, and I hope we get to go back soon!
The set…well, it felt like a first gig. We were a little rough and had some performance issues…but when you take into consideration that Dave, Chris, and myself all three had colds, forgetting to count how many times we sing the words “Suffragette City” before the break in the song is forgivable…and you can never control when a string is going to break or a guy with a clogged throat is going to run out of breath. You just learn to laugh about it and keep playing as well as you can. On my own personal scale, it wasn’t a grand slam, but it WAS a home run.
We gave away copies of the demo. I had something like 30 or so ready for the night. All of them were given away. So thirty people who didn’t have our music in their hands when the night started now have it. That’s pretty cool to think about.
I listened to the current CD the Fishpaws (the other band) are selling on my drive home. It’s good. I like it a lot. They’re also nice guys who I could see hanging out with, if we ran in the same circles all the time. It’s always good, to meet people who’re just regular guys and know they aren’t rock stars. Speaks well of them. The CD is kinda relaxed and mellow. I like that kind of thing.
All in all a really good first gig. Even being sick and knowing I didn’t have 100% to give, I felt good. Blew out my voice almost immediately…but it was still good. It was fun. It felt like what I SHOULD be doing these days. I love working with Dave, Chris, and Johnny, and it felt like putting on your favorite pair of shoes tonight. You know it works. You know it’s comfortable. You know it’s YOU. I deeply, deeply needed that tonight and I’m indebted to those three guys for giving it to me.
For those who’re curious, the setlist was:
Mother Maybelle’s Shotgun
Suffragette City (written by David Bowie)
Fightin’ Drunk (aka All Along)
Tear it Down
Thanks to the Chapel, the Fishpaws, and everyone that came out or wanted to, but couldn’t make it for whatever reason. You’re all awesome.
George W. Bush Picture of the Day (Obama’s term begins in 2 days):
“For this, I got out of bed?”