Sunday, January 18, 2009
Debuting the New Material
Playing the Grind felt like playing in a big living room with its lamp lighting and pillows where couches will probably be eventually. The hookahs reminded me of Josh's living room a few years back. I liked that it was spacious enough to move around and not feel crowded, but oh how I long to play somewhere where we don't bring our own PA and have a stage. Having our friends all standing that close to us also made the performance a little more awkward for some reason. I was wishing for more of a barrier of some sort. Kelly's always talking about legendary shows in which thirty people are there and a hundred people say they were there a year later. I didn't think last night's show would reach legendary status, but it did occur to me that maybe we should start handing out affidavits attesting that someone was at a given show for posterity's sake. Or not.
I felt the show was good, but I was frustrated that the crowd didn't noticeably get into it until one of Kelly's work friends got there and yelled for "My Wife's a Zombie" and "Man Vs. Cheetah" at the end of our set, just before we played both of those songs. The crowd response was good then, but before that, they were pretty deadpan. Granted, they were sitting on the floor in an almost pitch-black room.
Since I'm the one who's recording the show and cooking it up the next morning, I'm always the one going over them the most with a very fine-toothed comb. Also be aware that everything I'm about to say comes through my eyes as a perfectionist. There's something I feel that's wrong with "Whiskey Rebellion." I can't put my finger on it. Maybe a dozen or so listens to it will help me decide, probably only to decide there's nothing wrong without it at all. "Great Stink" was played without a 12-string or Kelly's chorus pedal (the battery on it was dead), which made it almost completely lose its Cure feel, an asset lost to be sure for its debut. Josh started it out on a tempo that's faster than we've ever played it before, which always works best in a live setting. I flubbed the bass line on that one a time or two, but I had a quick recovery. "Know-It-All" was played its best to date. Daniel's lead work really shone through. As we were playing it, I was happy that Kelly's words, which are often hard to understand for this one, were coming in very clearly through the PA and on the recording. Then Angela asked me if the song said, "F- you, Know-It-All" today. So maybe not. I was happy that Kelly played this show without a music stand and lyric sheet. Yeah, he missed a few words, but he and I are the only ones who noticed or will notice. I think not using it as a crutch will push him to learn the words and make better performances later.
I'm glad we have a steady stream of shows this winter and into spring to keep us motivated to practice and work to ward our ultimate goal for the record. The ideas keep coming in, and I hope we keep cultivating them into great new songs. I hope Kelly's prediction that we'll play "Bob Dole" at the next show is true considering we'll have time for one practice between now and January 30th.
On a final note, none of us can get over the awesome flyer that Truck made for this show!