It's been almost a year since we last played Tacoma, so we figured, why the heck not? There's a new club there, cleverly named the New Frontier, and it was our CD release party. Plus, we hadn't gigged out since mid-October, so we were overdue for a show.
Sean had checked out the New Frontier and mentioned to me that it had much the same vibe of the Skylark in West Seattle. I will agree with him on that. It's a nice little place, with a stage on one end and a bar along the side of the space. The bathrooms are by the entrance, though, so if you gotta hit the head, the whole club doesn't have to see/know about it like they do at the Skylark, where the bathrooms are literally stage left.
Chris had set up this show and had gotten Girl Trouble on the bill. Way back when, GT kind of took us under their wing and got us in with some of the more established bands in town (see Unsmashable crew), so it was cool for them to want to play our CD show. Unfortunately, we had a hard time coming up with a third and went with a band suggested by GT, called the Drug Purse.
The DP was a 4 piece and they took the stage first. They had a real 60's/garage rock thing going, complete with snake lights on the drumset and a mood-setting rotating light thing on the bass rig. They were pretty loose and, well, garagey, and sadly, not too memorable except for the fact that the guitarist changed a string during the set. He sat on the floor and made it happen.
GT followed DP and they were a fun time. Their surf rock thing was energetic and KP was just great as the frontman... until he took off his shirt. Ugh. But, it was rock and roll after all, so no one minded. At one point, he put his mic in his mouth and barked like a dog. I mention this because one of us was going to have to sing into that mic later that night. Yikes.
After GT finished, we took the stage. We had a good amount of people, but I can tell you the amount of people who came down for little old me was zero! I wasn't expecting much, as it was in T-Town and not up here, so it was no big deal. I just hope the representation is better in Seattle next week.
As it was, Chris and Sean's friends filled the place. What was cool about it was they all seemed to know each other since high school days. They all grew up together and got married, etc, and it was just peachy! It made me a little green with envy; I have close friends from those days, but for whatever reason, the music connection wasn't there. Chris and Sean's friends are all into the tunes and have watched them perform for years.
Anyway, we got up there and played and, I gotta say, I think we played pretty well. I had to share a monitor speaker with Chris and the sound guy, Alex, had us dialed in really nicely. I could hear everything and sang with reckless abandon!
I also tried playing a little differently. I had my stage volume pretty high and tried to dial back the finger pressure. So often, when playing my beloved SB-2, especially on the bridge p/u, where the string is tighter, I get big ol' blisters. This time, being conscious about what I was doing, plus the louder stage volume, seemed to help that. In addition, I mixed up some of my basslines and tried to sprinkle some noodling in here and there. It kept me on my toes and hopefully was cool to listen to as well.
We played an extra long set, with some songs we hadn't played in many months, including 2 songs (Feel and New Horizons) which we hadn't even rehearsed. People got up and danced towards the end of the set and kept us entertained on stage.
It was really good to get out again and see the peeps and play some rock. 2.5 months between rock shows has got to stop. Luckily we have another show next Friday at the Mars Bar, once again for our new CD. I'm gettin' the word out to clubs for other shows, so hopefully we can play out more than 7 times this year (what we did last year!).
Up next: Mars Bar 2/13. Be there! It's the return of LLAMA!!