It was a great way to start my weekend...and i got some good advice...(just go for it!!!). I was talking (as always) about my stage fright, and how this time out, i was going to be on stage in a small bar with a bunch of other folks i haven't played with before, with no practice.
But i have already messed up on that stage before...last year i did a solo set that was perfectly dreadful, on the spot, messy, drunk. (note...drinking and performing do not go together very well unless you are eddie vedder)
I spent a lot of time practicing and wondering how to 'fit in' to the band...how to make what i was practicing flow with what others would do, without practicing WITH them....i hadn't wondered too much until that rehearsal in ithica, figuring that if i could play it with neil, we would do fine....but that didn't happen. Everyone's interpretation of songs is very different from everyone elses....there is never just one way....and sometimes, the 'ways' are very divergent....
And, when your skill level is low, it is harder to flow....much easier to just follow a set idea....
So, it was with these thoughts that i prepared for the journey on friday.....i stayed relaxed, knowing that anxiety is my enemy when it comes to 'flow'.......took my time loading (though i DID hurt my neck....), drove without pressure, and arrived at about the same time as hgs and carol....but there was no one else!!!!--including our hosts, dave and jean!!!
After a while, we thought that perhaps we had all gotten the date wrong, as no one showed for a few hours, but then they started to trickle in........bob, nan, paul, meleya, bugs, eileen and family, mark and of course, dave and jean.....We hugged and laughed and got reaquainted with each other.....and more people came until we were all accounted for!
I remember having a conversation with wendy about being nervous before performing and how it gets in my way. I remember being concerned with time and whether we would be late setting up and waiting for people to arrive so that we could head to the venue......when those people did come and i confirmed plans with bugs, i took off....and had much of my car (i had the PA) unpacked by time bugs came with the rest of the gear....and we had most of THAT hooked up by time the rest of players came....we started 1/2 hour after we should have, but i think i was the only one who noticed!!!!!
still, overall, i was calm....concerned, but that terrible fear about performing was overshadowed by getting physically ready for the gig....and that worked for me!!! Distraction and scatter-ability is my friend!!!!
We opened with Rockin in the Free World, a good choice...easy to play, everyone knows it and it is quick....tom sang it and did a good job at it! Scattered was next, with mark playing the riff and bugs singing. I sang Big Time, but i do not remember it at all (so much for not being nervous!!) and The Losing End....i felt pretty good about doing the solo at the end when bugs threw it to me, but the vocals could have been better.
They were apparently better, though, than the harmony i tried on Over and Over, which nan sang next.....i tried the riff on that and got the right notes in the right place only sometimes......
Now, i want to say that i spent quite a bit of time watching people watch us (a strange situation when you think of it....). When i do open mic, i am up and down before i even start to settle in....but when i did a whole evening, i settled in after the first few songs, and stopped thinking so much about PERFORMING and started to think more about the MUSIC and getting it out there.....touching people with it....connecting to it like i do when i am playing just for the pleasure of making the music.
People sang along with us, they watched us, they moved with us, they smiled and nodded when you caught their eye or looked away or just stared as if they didn't think it was you they were looking at. It LOOKED like they were having a good time.....
I started to relax and just have a good time....'settle in' is exactly how it felt
Now, i have some friends, and some patients, and some kids of friends who have cocaine problems, and i have recently been involved in bad situations which i brought into my mind when singing Cocaine Eyes. It felt cathartic to do that song, in that place, with all those faces in my mind and all those faces listening and looking......all those people i love. I am glad i had the opportunity to do that....i think it is one of my all-time favorite moments on a stage....
Nan did Love to Burn and mark did Come on Baby, Let's Go Downtown.....and we took a break!!!
So far, the gig was going well, the audience having a good time, the musicians having a good time....and now we had friends of our hosts who got up and played.....doing a wonderful job, i might add!!! Eileen and jean sang Wrecking Ball and Too Far Gone and that was GREAT! (next year, you guys need to do more than two songs!)
The rest of the evening is a blur (could have been that good dark beer they were feeding me), but the set list is below.....we then broke down and went back to camp and had a nice time socializing around the camp fire....which, i agree with someone who said, is the best time of day at Cripple Creek!!!!!
Remainder of set list:
I’ve been waiting for you (nan)
No Hidden Path (bugs)
Rapid Transit (bugs....this was GREAT!!)
Truth Be Known (mark)
Barstool blues (me)
Down by the River (tom)
Surfer Joe And Moe The Sleaze (bugs)
Going Home (me)
Dirty Old Man (tom)
Cowgirl in the Sand(tom)
Spirit Road (me)
Throw your hatred down (mark)
Are you Passionate (me)
Fucking up (??forget??)
Tonight’s the Night (tom)