It seems I’m going to be doing a lot of performing, coming up. Stands to reason that you’re gonna hear about it.
It’s what you’re gonna sorta hear about it this time.
How to write this? I’ll go with the ego shtick again. Seems reasonable!
I’ve decided that I’m pretty good! Damned right, I am!
Allow me to explain…
Last weekend hurt – a lot. I’d like to avoid additional pain. I kinda like the opiates, but it still hurts. Opiates don’t really make the pain go away. Opiates make it so that you don’t give a shit about the pain. They’re pretty awesome like that.
I have a point.
The audience we’ll be playing for doesn’t need a lead that has issues moving around on stage.
In other words, I’m only taking the stage for the encore and maybe not even then. I’m gonna sit somewhere and maybe fetch drinks. I ain’t even bringing any guitars. (There are a few on the truck, if I change my mind.)
I’m good, because I can do this.
Once again, allow me to explain!
I’m good, because it also means the audience will probably enjoy it more. I’m good, because I put together a band that can step up and do this. I’m good, because I know my limitations.
See, it starts (for them) at about 09:00. They’ll need to get everything setup before the people attending start arriving. At 12:00, people start showing up.
The expected number of guests is 200ish and it’s a reunion type event held in a hall. They have a bar and food. They have tables and will sit at them, while someone pipes in some quiet music. They will walk around and shoot the shit, they will have speeches and drink heavily.
This is not my first rodeo. Trust me, that’s what they’ll do. That’s what they always do.
At 17:00, something like that, our drummer has to emcee some shit. The band goes on at the end of that, however long that takes (probably about an hour), and plays until 21:00 (with the usual breaks).
The band is to play very period-specific music. It’s mid-80s to early-90s stuff. It’s the kinda stuff the band can play just fine without me. Yes, Poison is on the musical menu. I am not going to miss performing, much… I think… Not for this show. I doubt I’ll suffer a single pang of regret while observing!
I am good because I have, and can trust, a band that will do that just fine without me. They’re capable of pleasing this type of audience without me at the front. This is an upbeat and happy thing. We want no sadness, sympathy, or regret. We almost want to be in the background, but visually appealing and energetic.
We don’t really want them paying too much attention to us. We want them to dance with their old girlfriend/boyfriend and have drunken affairs in the hotel after they leave. We want them to still be able to talk in the back and not be rendered deaf if they approach the stage. We want smooth transitions and very little talking. We want to pretty much be a live version of ye’ olden thing known as a ‘mixtape.’ We’re pretty much supposed to be their old radio experience, without any of those commercials.
We’re not even selling merch. At this type of event, that’d be tacky as fuck. (We’ll probably have some in sound, sitting in boxes.)
It’s not the type of affair where we go in and melt their faces off. It’s not the kind of affair where we are really the center of attention. It’s more of a gig than a show, in those regards.
And, I’m good because I know that my going on stage would bring unwanted attention, as I’d have to explain that I have a smashed femur. Because I’d have to explain that, it’s going to get a negative vibe, instead of the sympathetic vibe that we’d get at the last venue. Thus, I have no business being on the stage and I recognize this. They’re not going to react like an audience that knows us and is there to see us. They’re there to see old friends, not us.
Here’s something you may not think of (and it’s entirely unrelated)!
Sometimes, it falls on you to emcee strange stuff. Like, it has been too emotional for the group and you have to announce the death of one of their alum. You may have to do a rememberance of all those who have passed since the group last met. That’s dealt with in a few ways. You can try somber reverance, factual, or even humor. I’ve made up whole eulogies on the spot. “They say that John Doe once ate fifty pancakes in one sitting, but I’m sure he’d rather be most remembered for his ability to burp the entire alphabet.”
I have no idea what he’s going to be emceeing. ‘Snot my job. It’s why he makes the big bucks!
Everyone has to get up pretty early tomorrow, except the missus and I. I can show up whenever I want. The missus is not going. We are not bringing the missus. You’re welcome.
I’ll sit in sound with EH. I’ll probably drink heavily and make someone drive me home. The audience won’t even know my name. Sweet! They won’t even remember the band’s name on Monday, and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
If I were on the stage, it’d not be the kind of place where I’d chuck t-shirts and picks into the audience. If someone approached the stage then I’d probably give ’em something. I expect them to be paying attention to each other, and not me. That’s how nameless and faceless we’re to be – if we’re good at our job.
And, that’s a fine line to walk. It’s not easy to be just a live version of a radio but still be active enough to be called energetic and entertaining.
They’ve got this. They know what they’re doing. We’ve done this same type of event before. They don’t need me for anything. Sweet! This is also pretty much my least favorite type of performance that we do. I’m much more comfortable being the center of attention, oddly enough.
I’ve even left set list finalization with them. They’ll have, shall we say, a whole lot of time to think about it. They’ll be starting their day at 09:00, remember? They’ll be putting in a 14 to 16 hour day. Including driving time, it may be longer for some.
I suspect they’ll be coming here afterwards, some of them. I should take something from the freezer, now that I think about it.
I don’t actually know what the band will be playing, now that I think about it. They’ll be fine! (I’d tell you another story, but that’s too much digression!) I have no idea what they’ll pick and exactly how they’ll present themselves onstage. It’ll be fine, trust me!
Ha! The band got to let loose last weekend. This weekend, they’ll be reminded that vacation is over. If they want to get paid, they must perform. I’ll let ’em split my payment, ’cause I’m not performing. They, on the other hand, have work to do.
I’m going to observe and critique. I am going to do this while drinking, quite probably. It’s better that way, trust me!
If they fuck up, I am going to give them so much shit! I’ve got a wireless headset available. If I can figure out that board, I’ve even got a mute button!
I will actually give ’em constructive feedback, and probably not live. I doubt they’ll need any of my input. I told you up above, I trust them. I’ll probably wear the headset to keep ’em on their toes and to keep the drunk audience members from trying to talk to me.
If you’re curious, this is the grind. This is what it takes to make a living from your musicianship. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I haven’t weighed it, but they’ll probably move several tons of equipment tomorrow, twice. They’ll probably have to climb up on ladders to assemble at least one rack, lights, a screen, a backdrop, etc… They’ll lug in hundreds of feet of cable – which is actually very low, as we use wireless for many things. (Which is an art in its own right.) Then, they’ll practice in the back, eat, dress, and wait around a lot. They’ll wait for hours.
They’ll be bored. They’ll probably leave and go out to eat, leaving some sucker behind to watch the gear. They’ll bring ’em back something! I am pretty sure the venue is supposed to feed them but I doubt they’ll want to all sit there for at least six hours.
It pains me to do this, but I must give the drummer a compliment.
He and the roadies are pretty good at getting just the right equipment off the truck – and only the right equipment. That’s an art in and of itself. That doesn’t get nearly enough recognition. It takes some skill to do that and to do that well. Someone should write an article or ten about it!
Anyhow, there’s some more stuff about performing that you probably don’t think about and seldom get to see. I’d like to point out that I do have it pretty easy. If you try to do this, your experiences may differ. You have been warned.
I’m very, very grateful for these experiences I’m having. I’m grateful that I have a lovely band that can do this. I’m very grateful that I’m surrounded by talented people who are willing to invest the energy to do this.
And, I’m grateful that I’m good!
One more time, allow me to explain!
A year ago, you could have seen them for, at most, a $5.00 cover charge. I’m good, ’cause I’ve taught and led them well. 😉 I’m good because I’ve helped enable them to do this and to do it on this level. I’m good, because I’ve helped them grow the confidence needed to perform at this level, or higher. I’m good because I know they’ll do this job better without me.
Damned right, I’m good! I’m pretty much a national treasure!
Alright, this is long enough. I strongly suspect that my next article is gonna be ’bout how they did. It seems pretty likely, but we’ll see. I make no promises. Look at how long it took me to get into writing every day. I am still putting my writing shoes on. I’ll try to keep them interesting, informative, and entertaining. We’ll see… Until next time…
Shut up and play us a song!