Figured I’d follow up on last weeks post about the Friday gig we were getting ready to do. And for those of you that don’t gig you might enjoy some of the insights. Here’s how it went.
It’s the Friday of the gig. I had to work from home because the washing machine repairman was coming to the house ($110 dollars for 10 minutes of work and six small plastic parts. Catalina says that it saved us $800 though; we didn’t buy a new machine). Some of the work I was doing was of the hurry-up-and-wait nature. So I could use the wait parts to load up the car with sound equipment. I really hate that part about gigging.
Around 3:30 I head over to pick up Ilinca and Catri, my nieces; Ilinca will run sound and Catri will be my roadie. I wait there for Ilinca to get home from high school. She walks in the door at 4:30. By 4:40 we are on our way home. When we get there Cata is changing and has my gig clothes ready for me. I load in the instruments and off we go.
At Lindley Park Filling Station, where we are playing, all the parking is taken. I double park behind someone. Matthew is already inside. He comes out and helps us. By help I mean that he slings the cable bag over his back and grabs the two main speakers one in each hand. The speakers are all I can ever manage in one trip. And that bag is really heavy. Everyone else is grabbing instruments and stands. Matthew goes back in to finish eating. David arrives. I’m really glad to see that there are outlets everywhere, though there are no lights for the stage itself. Did I tell you that this is another part of gigging that I really hate? After about a half an hour we are set up. We go through our sound check.
By seven o’clock we are ready to go. I have to say that the sound was as good as we have ever had it. Ilinca did a really good job and we had taken the time to set everything up the way we wanted. Matthew had lots of different friends show up. I was so pleased to see at least 5 groups of Catalina’s and my friends there. David had a slew of people too. It felt like we did a good job of bringing people in for the restaurant.
We are doing a totally new set list. For one thing it is a three set gig as opposed to our normal two. We have some new songs. The old songs are rearranged for no Holly, who is no longer with the band. It is fun to play with a new order. We are outside. It is just hot enough that my hands are sticky. That makes it so much harder to play guitar. But the crowd is great to have, many actively listening. Two thirds of the way through the first set it starts getting dark, cools down. My fingers stop sticking. Things get more fun.
David and I kick off the second set with Here Comes the Sun. I love to play that guitar part. The capo didn’t get placed on right and the bass string slips over the edge of the neck. I’m able to pull it back on for the notes that the string is fingered, but I can’t play the lowest note. I don’t think anyone but me noticed. About halfway through Matthew drifts up and joins in, taking a solo. At the end of his solo Catalina comes up and sits through to the end, just listening. And we are off into the second set.
Halfway through the set we are playing Peace of Mind when the restaurant turns on the outside lights. Unfortunately that directs all the power away from our sound system; dead as a doornail. We cut it short. I run out, see where the electric sockets are and replug everything. In about 3 minutes we are back playing. That was easy! Well sort of. We weren’t able to get the light to David’s music stand plugged in. And when we hit You are my Anchor, where he sings lead, we are about to give up. He can’t see the words. But Matthew takes his phone and uses it as a flashlight; ingenuity! Cata and I aren’t having problems. All our music is in our iPads, which is backlit.
About halfway into our third set our friend Sherry and her daughter arrive. Now things get noisy as she cheers us on. This is even more fun. When we complete with our normal version of Happiness, several are calling, “Encore”. So I call Ilinca up on the stage and have her sing Mark’s Song. No one can resist that; a pretty girl with a beautiful voice and sweet delivery to cap off the night.
Then it is disconnecting, coiling each cable, and putting them in the bag. Collapse all the stands, mic and music. Get the instruments in the case. Now let’s load it into the car. And my back is feeling it now, both from all the work and the singing/standing for so long. And did I tell you that this is another part of gigging that I really hate? And how is that the sound equipment always gains a hundred pounds during the gig? Go figure! I go in and settle with the owners, come out and distribute the funds.
Now we are in the car on the way home. I ask the girls if they want to unpack the sound tonight or tomorrow. Cata says “Be quiet! They’re sleeping.” And that is what the Friday gig was like.