gigs #3 and #4: the hub and the hydrant.

we kind of need to find a new place to play.

#3 was pretty standard, with a few interesting things to note. it was a benefit deal for one of the art groups we have on campus, which my friend paige is a part of, and she was the one that actually asked us to play. interesting too, we actually played last, this band called the beat strings opened, which was kind of funny because they were an actual band that sounded kind of like franz ferdinand, really upbeat, high energy, and then we took the stage. two dudes with an acoustic and one with an electric. weak sauce. but anyway. we played with bruce again and i played my electric, which really made a big difference in my playing and made me NOT want to play acoustic on stage again. i just feel so limited in what my hands can translate from my brain when i play the acoustic. it suits me a billion times better to play on my strat. so it was a lot more fun this time around and i got into my groove a lot faster than before. one thing that plagued our set was the lack of practicing though. eli and i had played quite a bit the week prior to this show and we worked a lot of cool things out on certain songs and even added a brand new song to the list, but we were unable to coordinate a time to practice with bruce so he came into the gig not on the same page as eli and i. we still played well i think but it definitely could’ve been tighter among all three of us. another cool thing about this gig: paige sang with us. that was cool to have a girl’s voice amongst our sound. the most interesting thing about this show for me though was my process of relaxation on stage. i felt alright from the get go, a titch nervous but still ok. as we played on though, it got late, and people obviously got tired and started to go. as i watched people get up and walk out, i stopped thinking completely about the audience and just started to goof off and play what i wanted. that was a lot of fun, i almost just stopped caring about whatever eli and bruce were doing and started making jokes to owen and colleen and joel, who were all sitting at a table together. it was a lot of fun. less people = more fun for me. and we debuted our new song, “mess around” by ray charles. such an awesome tune, and i’m glad we have a ray charles cover in our set. super fun to play, with a chance for me to really dig into a 12-bar blues solo, which was awesome on my strat. problems: too freakin’ short. we played it and out of nowhere the song was over. it’s literally done in like two and a half minutes for us, which is just far too short. not good for our set and not fun for me. so overall the gig was fine. i can tell i’m getting better about being on a stage.

#4: best gig so far, by far. absolutely the most fun i’ve had on a stage, and i felt like i played my best so far and really got into it. started off the show with about 0.1% nerves, which is basically negligible for me. so that was great. it was just eli and i again, with me on electric. i was a bit wary before the show whether or not it was gonna sound good with just eli on acoustic and me on electric but i really felt like we found a good sound with this set up. the crowd was great, which to me means it was mainly our friends. it was the thursday before finals week so the hydrant didn’t have many patrons, and i was kind of behind a speaker so most of the people who i didn’t know i couldn’t even see. that relaxed me a lot right from the get go. and i finally got to see how i performed with a bit of alcohol in me, which is not bad at all. around the middle of the set i started to get a bit of a buzz and instead of making me worse at playing it was just a lot of fun. it also helped me take the song omar bay on a lot easier. omar bay is the one tune where i’ve got a solo but i just haven’t figured out yet how to make it a good solo; it’s such a weird chord progression and trying to find a good melody to solo with over this progression has stumped me. but after having a few drinks, along with playing it later in the set after i’ve gotten comfortable, when eli looked at me and said “omar bay?” i was like “yeah….i’m gonna get you this time, omar bay.” and it was awesome.

and my strat. gosh i love playing electric so much more than acoustic. it takes a ho-hum set list for me and turned it into something really enjoyable to be a part of. we played some really rockin’ tunes too, the weight sounds great with me on electric, and we finished off our last set with hooch, and kevin actually came up and freestyled a little over this super funky groove we found. that’s the kind of stuff i wish we played more of. stuff where i can really forget about being on a stage and just bob my head and play. it was super fun.

on top of that, a super fun one was mess around by ray charles. we ended our first set with it, and it’s such a good set closer, except that it is just so short. solution is just to figure out how to medley it with another tune, preferably another ray charles tune if we could. i’m thinking i don’t need no doctor, i got a woman, possibly what’d i say. figuring out how to medley a few tunes will be my project as soon as this week is over.

no more gigs on the horizon right now, but whatever else comes, i sincerely hope they are like #4. oh yeah i’m done with the semester too. awesome. two more classes and i’m out of college. holler.

-jon

p.s. my font changed for some reason unbeknownst to me. i tried for like thirty seconds to get it the same as the others but then i got lazy. so i guess just deal with it for this one post. sorry.

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