Last night was interesting. We played with Steven Fiore and his band at The Hippodrome in Charleston, SC. It was a most notable experience…
First off, The Hippodrome is a really cool venue. Unfortunately, it is also a great geography lesson on the importance of location. In downtown Charleston, it is unfortunately out-of-the-way, even for downtown-Charlestonians. Still, the dedicated bunch that came out were rewarded with comfy seats (w/cup-holders), a large lobby, and excellent sound and lighting.
Second, I lost my clothes. Well, my change of clothes. I usually bring something to wear during the performance other than what I load in and setup wearing. Nothing makes me feel more professional than walking around saying “Excuse me, have you seen my pants?” while imagining myself performing in the largest, nicest venue we’ve yet played in jorts and flip-flops. Oh wait…
Third, there was a remote controlled, flying shark. Yeah. Some inflatable thing. I saw it during sound check, and thought to myself “We’ve got a guarantee. So if that thing comes out during our set, I’m out of here.” Well, it did make an appearance, and I, per usual, was not as tough in real-life as in my brain. The REALLY odd thing is that people seemed to like it.
Fourth, we were complimented. Multiple times. By strangers. People complimented the programming, the iPad, the lyrics, and yes, even the shark. While the room wasn’t by any means “full,” the seating arrangement allowed me to see most of the audience. It’s nice to know that they were really listening, and many of them enjoyed it.
Steven and his band were great. That’s no shock. It is always a true honor to share a bill with that guy.
Dan and Megan were gracious hosts, which is again, no shock. I asked to borrow an amp and they topped that off with a homemade meal. Those guys… really. Speaking of the amp, I really enjoyed playing through that circa 1970’s Fender Champ. We cranked the volume, but with a good mic it sounded much bigger. Very cool experience.
If you came out, thank you. It can be very discouraging playing to empty or distracted audiences. When record sales are low, it’s easy to not want to do this any more. A positive show experience can make a big difference. It’s nice to know you’re listening.
BIG thanks to Awendaw Green, as well, for taking care of their artists. It means a lot.