well second gig has come and gone. it kind of came up much more suddenly than the first one and it was more of a hodge podge i guess you could say, but it was still a ton of fun. little back story, eli lets me know that he’s playing on thursday night at the hydrant and bruce can’t due to a prior gig the next day for which he wants to save his voice (bruce’s actual band stable daze was playing friday night and recording the show for a live record) but eli asked me if i would be interested in playing with just him. the problem with all of this is that the week ended up being full of stuff and we weren’t really able to practice at all until thursday afternoon. by “practice” i mean eli coming over at 4 pm (gig was at 10) and us talking about songs we might want to do and not actually playing any more than one song together. ironically, it was the song i flubbed up big time at the gig but i’ll get to that.
in the end, we decided that since it was just two of us, it’d be better if i was just gonna play along since we didn’t really have time to practice at all. not really a night for me to play solos since there was just the two of us. and that was a good plan, but it would’ve been better had i been able to play some of the songs first. anyway. fast forward to later, we go up to start playing. and let me tell you, the hydrant got packed quick. i had invited more people than i realized and i think every person i told showed up. there were school friends, work friends, church friends, old friends. even a professor. it was pretty nuts. so the place felt really packed. which didn’t really make me nervous, and just the fact that i wasn’t really nervous was great. so eli and i go up and i just say to him play whatever and i’ll catch up and we start. and i don’t catch up as fast as i had hoped.
this was the result of a few little problems. first, i should’ve asked eli to turn my guitar up louder in the monitor. i could hear it ok, but not great during the one or two solos that i had in the beginning and i’m not one to play my guitar loud anytime at all, especially when i’m playing along with someone else to a song i’ve never really practiced before. so that was problem number one, and probably the biggest one. secondly, we played the song omar bay as we had at the hub at our first gig, and boy did i suck. eli gave me a solo and it was like will ferrell’s devil character trying to join in. i couldn’t hit notes and i was just struggling to play anything that sounded remotely good. eli took the song back quick though so it was ok. but man after we ended i could feel the sweat on my forehead and knew i had ground to gain after that.
the bright side was, as far as i could tell, the night only got better after that first crappy omar bay. we played a ton of stuff, and for a long time. we started at like 10:15 and played for about a hour, then took maybe twenty or thirty minutes and went back on until like 1:15 or 1:30. and since it was just eli and i, when we were playing we were actually playing. no eli solo sets for me to take a break. by the end, my fingers were killing me and my hands felt like glue.
we played tons of stuff too. hooch, the weight, falling slowly, always lift him up and never let him down, gulf coast highway, arms of a woman, will it go round in circles, a few eli originals, what i got, candy, street corner preacher, sitting waiting wishing, more stuff. tons of stuff i’d never played and didn’t even know he could play, like candy. that was super fun cause we had never talked about us being able to play it and then he started this little riff off and i was like “what’s this?” and he was gonna walk me through the chords quick and he was like “it’s candy” and i immediately joined in where he was at. and then we rocked it. it’s a song very conducive to two guys on acoustic guitars in a bar. another one i really enjoyed was the weight. again, hadn’t played it with him before, or actually ever, but since it’s a total of three chords, i picked it up quick. and it’s just a fun sing-along and we threw some funk into the last few choruses that eli wasn’t expecting but liked a ton.
one reason it’s fun to play for some of these new people is that they don’t know all my old guitar tricks. i’m pretty good at guitar, but even more than being good, i’m really good at making it seem like i’m really good at guitar. and for someone who doesn’t play guitar or doesn’t know tons about music, it’s not that hard to come across as good. for most of our audience at the bar that night, me playing the D chord as a 7th in the chorus of the weight makes it sound funky, and all i did was play one note differently than eli did. and yet people will cheer if i play that one note and bob my head like i’m really “feeling” the groove. i’m such a poser.
but it was still a lot of fun once i found my footing. what i really think would make me and eli sound better is a time to play and practice with no one else really around. a time where i could sing harmony loud, and we could go over songs multiple times until we got them down. not playing until showtime isn’t good for me. we’ve got two gigs this week coming up too so hopefully we’ll get to play soon.
gigs this week: wednesday night at the hub (benefit/charity type show for paige. i think bruce is playing with us? i definitely want to practice before this thing) and then thursday night at the hydrant. it’d be fun to have bruce but i haven’t seen that guy since i think our first show so i have no idea if he still exists. so potentially a repeat of this second gig with just eli and me. and hopefully my name will be on the ad poster hanging up at the hydrant. that would be awesome. hope to see you out there!