Headed out last night, got flipped off by some chick in a minivan just for passing her on the way. Got to the club and had to circle around as the road directly in front of the Mix is under construction and all blocked off.
Loaded in and set up and realized that for the last 5 months at rehearsals, we practice in a circle, facing each other. This was the first time setting up on a stage. But after a moment of confusion, I figured it out. Years of experience, and all. Also, Corey told me where I should be.
We thought we would have a 9pm start time, but it got pushed to 9:30, which was just fine with me. It was our first show and, believe it or not, I actually had some friends come out. I was stoked! David and Gregg from the Scheme were there, as were a bunch of friends who I worked with at a Very Large Software Company.
I was able to catch up with my friends and have a great time before we jumped on stage. We didn't get a sound check, but the sound guy did tell us that his PA wasn't the best and we would have to modulate the vocals by turning down our guitars and playing quieter. So, we had to worry about that. I was also concerned with the inevitable tempo increase. It seems like at every first show, though you're not nervous, you end up playing differently anyway. Other than that, it was pretty much business as usual.
We started the set with "Judy," a song inspired by a horror movie. Or something. All these songs were written before I joined. I know the words and the music and that's about it. I felt pretty good about the tempo. I always seem to mix up notes on this song, though, and through the first verse, it was fine. But at the intro leading to the second verse, yup, there was the screw-up. I hit a D instead of an A. I noticed, but hopefully it wasn't too bad.
And, as we sang the song, it was pretty clear the vocals were quiet. They were barely audible through the monitors on stage; I was told later the FOH vocals were quiet and needed to be increased. When we brought it to the sound man's attention, he scolded us and told us to sing louder or turn down.
So we played on.
The next song was "Take It Away," which marked my debut at singing lead. We started the song, tempo felt good, got to where I sing and I was able to pull it off. I felt pretty comfortable doing it and noticed a few things:
- Singing background vocals, I never had to be anchored to the mic. I'd sing my bit, then back off the mic. Singing lead, I have to remember to stay by the mic between lines.
- By being anchored to the mic, I can move around less. However, I always try to be energetic when playing and need to remember to be visually interesting. I found myself forgetting to do so and don't ever want to be static up there.
- I didn't realize this until the end of the night, but I have to trust the sound guy. I have to sing and not worry about backing off the mic, things like that. The worst thing is to finish the set and have someone say that they couldn't hear you sing/play/etc. The sound guy is paid to make us sound good. I just have to sing.
Overall, it was a nice first show. We all had flubs and screw-ups, but nothing that derailed the show. I felt like I sang pretty well, but I'm gonna pick David's brain to see what he thought. I've given him some feedback about his shows, so I'm curious about what he thought about ours.
We did have some tempo issues. I'm not sure how to address them. I've mentioned it a bunch of times in practice, and even before a few songs last night. But we still sped them up, despite me trying to lay way back to pull back the tempo. I guess there was a guy shooting video so we'll see what that shows, but we always record practice and we always speed up. So it's nothing new. But we're not fixing it, and that's driving me crazy. The guys have told me before, "It's just rock and roll." Which is true, but that doesn't give us an excuse to not be the best band we can be.
After the show, I got to hang with my pals and had such a great time talking to them. These guys are all 10-15 years younger than me, but for whatever reason, I relate to them really well. Maybe it was the battles we went through in our jobs together. But I think it's just that they're all really great people.
A few news bombs were dropped last night, but I won't go into detail here. I doubt anyone is reading, but some things just don't need to be blogged. Nevertheless, the news was all good and inspiring and full of the feelings.
Oh yeah, my friend Alexis took a sweet picture. Check it out.
My other pal, Kyle, took a bunch of pictures too. I can't wait to see them. Next show, May 23rd at Tim's Tavern somewhere up north.