Sunday, August 07, 2005

IPO recap

So IPO came and went for us on Thursday. I drove up from Irvine to Los Angeles with Alison (my sister-in-law) and Judy (her mother-in-law). Unfortunately, Marci had to stay at home with the kids since she's already seen me play. Judy hadn't, and by that virtue, won the trip to LA with me.

51 miles is what Google maps said, so off we went. Prior to the gig, me, Chris and Sean had discussed what to wear and what not to wear. My thing (and anyone else in music's thing) is to look cool without looking like you're trying to look cool. All I brought down to SoCal were a pair of jeans and a ringer T with my friend's band Upwell on it. So Rock! And I topped it off with some "vintage" adidas sneakers. When we got to Hollywood, I tracked Sean down. He wore a Radiohead shirt and jeans. And when we saw Chris finally, he had on a t-shirt and jeans. Woo hoo. I guess we looked casual.

Anyway, at the Knitting Factory Alterknit Lounge (basically a small room with a stage on one end and a bar on the other), we saw a few bands play. First band I saw was the Bentleys (most of the bands that night had "The" in front of their name). They were 4 dudes, three of whom were wearing button-down shirts with skinny ties and their hair swept forward like there was a fan blowing them from behind. So trendy! They played indie pop/rock. It was pretty boring. Ali, Judy and I left and walked onto Hollywood Blvd and took some pictures.

Later, we came back to the lounge and a band called Last Day Lost was playing. They were from Vancouver, BC and consisted of 2 women (sisters, I'm pretty sure) and 2 dudes. One of the sisters played lead guitar and sang, while the other played bass. What was unique (or grating, depending on your disposition) was that the girl guitarist was trying WAY TOO HARD to rock. She was bouncing around, moshing almost, doing a hoedown like Ashlee Simpson did on SNL, all while trying to play her leads. Kind of distracting. Her sister on bass was much more subdued, but I think it was to keep the two midgets from fighting underneath her halter top. In other words, she was trying very hard to keep from drawing attention to herself and failing miserably.

After LDL came a band from NYC called The Orion Experience. Before playing the IPO, I tried to find a website for TOE and couldn't. I was expecting a rock band. The name sounded heavy to me. Imagine my surprise when a short guy (in a tie, no less) who looked just like Marshall from Alias took the stage. He had another guy on guitar, a women on keys and percussion and two big black guys on bass and drums backing him. They played a few songs and were great. It was rock, but singer/songwriter style. Very pro and you could tell they'd been around the block a few times (whereas the other two bands hadn't).

We played after TOE and before we went on, we were quite surprised to see many many people coming in the door. Plus, lots of kids came streaming in. As in 10 and under. They all packed in the front and sat on the floor. It was pretty funny. We set up pretty quickly and got going. We started off with Sean's song, Feel. Immediately after starting, two things were very apparent. First off, Sean started the song about 2 clicks too slow. Secondly, my bass on stage was WAY TOO LOUD! They had an Ampeg SVT and a 4x10 cab and I had the gain way too high. Luckily there are a vew breaks in Feel and I was able to turn down a bit.

For the set, we decided to really plow through songs and keep talking to a bare minimum. We ended up playing 7 songs in about 20 minutes and, as far as I can tell, people were pretty entertained. The room was filled and we had a great time. Sadly, there was no record contract offered as we walked off stage. :(

As we milled about after our performance, someone told me that Michael Keaton was in the crowd. I looked around, and, sure enough, there he was, right by the bar. Apparently, the band playing after us (another "The" band), The Hatch (terrible name!!), had Mr. Keaton's son playing keyboards and singing. All the kids (and their parents) were there to see that band, not because of Mr. Keaton's son, but because of their guitarist, who worked for some camp or something.

As it was, we lucked out tremendously as when we played was when the Hatch was supposed to play. So we got a ton of people for our show. Sadly, after the Hatch played (think Maroon 5 clone) everyone left so the last band (get ready for this), The Prix, got to play to a few people.

Overall, I had a great time. It was fun to be up there, in Hollywood, playing for a bunch of kids and a movie star. Having Judy and Ali in the mix made it more fun as well. I just wish we had another gig or two booked while we were down here. Maybe next time, I guess.