Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A few weekends ago at the Skylark

Sometime towards the end of December, Jessie from the Skylark emailed me and asked if the Lunds could play the Friday after New Year's. Chris couldn't, so the Lunds were out. I asked the Scheme and they were in, so, we were in.

Jessie had 3 bands cancel on her so I tried to help her fill the bill but I couldn't find anyone who could do it. It didn't matter as she was able to find a few bands. One was called Ocean of Algebra and the other was called To The Glorious Lonely.

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of either of the bands' names, but then, who am I to judge. Not that it mattered anyway. But, off to Google/Myspace I went to see about these bands.

OoA was listed at MS as a duo, I think. Electronica or something. I wasn't terribly excited about what they did, but it was more due to a lack of interest on my part than a lack of talent on their part.

TTGL was a rock band. They had this sort of Tom Petty/American rock thing going on and I liked it. I researched the band members and the lead singer/guitarist, Jeff, apparently plays bass for a band called Loaded, which is fronted by one Duff McKagan, the ex-bassist for Guns n Roses, as well as Velvet Revolver.

In other words, a bonefide rock star!

Anyway, we got to the day and I showed up, with my Duck Dunn bass in tow. There was a decent amount of people in the club. A guy named something or other went first and did an acoustic set. He was pretty good and he looked totally familiar to me, but I just couldn't place him.

Next up was Ocean of Algebra. They had an interesting mix of guys up there. The drummer played with his high-hat to his right, like a lefty, only he played it with his right hand and hit the snare with his left. According to Sean, who was kind enough to show up, this drummer played the bass drum with his left foot. So, in other words, his upper half was playing righty, and his lower half was playing lefty. Evidently that's completely messed up, but this guy did it just fine.

On bass was a really skinny guy and, though he played well, he might as well have been invisible. Very little, if any, stage presence and he just disappeared.

The singer/guitarist had a baseball hat pulled down low, glasses, earrings, jacket zipped up to his chin and played a 12-string acoustic. Kind of weird, but he was a good player and sang like he was on Broadway (think showtunes).

The other guitarist was a big boy and, unfortunately, his tone was buried in the mix for some reason. He kept fiddling around with his amp and when it was time for him to solo, poof. He was gone.

They were a good band, but just not my cup of tea.

As we were about to take the stage next, more and more people came piling in. After talking to a few people, I found out that Duff was actually coming to the show and his band, Loaded, was going to play an acoustic set. Cool!

I started setting up on stage and turned around and, blam! There he was. I said, "Hey Duff" and he nodded and said hi back. A bit later, he and Jeff from Loaded came up and admired my bass. Evidently Jeff is getting one of the DDs and we chatted gear for a minute. Before long, we played our set.

We started off pretty well, with You Let Me Go. We followed that with a couple fast ones and, though the wheels never fell off, I feel like the connection with me and Gregg (the drummer) isn't quite there yet. I don't know if it has to do with learning new songs (though after 1.5 years, are they really new anymore?) or the fact that we play once a week every once in a while, but for whatever reason, we're not tight like me and Sean (or me and Rob) are (were). I'm guessing it'll come in time.

So, we were a little loose. Don't know if many people noticed, but I did, and as they always say, you are your own worst critic. I definitely could've played/sang better, but it was fine for rock and roll, I suppose.

Loaded took the stage after us and it was four dudes in black, sitting in chairs and it was pretty cool. Duff can sing well and I enjoyed his music. Jeff's band, TTGL, was really good too. I really enjoyed them and our friend, Eric from the Riffbrokers and the I Love Myselfs, played lead guitar for them. Their music was great and highly recommended.

After their set, Duff joined them for some electric rock on bass and he just looked good up there. I guess all those years playing arenas and stadiums really paid off for that night at the Skylark.

Anyway, I'm out of steam. Two blogs in one night will do that to you. Peace out.