First Gig Results

Friday night (11/21) my band performed for the first time in a real club. It was a great experience. The band had discussed the possibility of playing out for years and there were concerns about our lack of polish, whether our material would go over, whether people would attend, and a few other issues. The first challenge, of course, was finding a place that would let us play. Jeff, the drummer, was able to find a local place that would let us play early on a weekend IMG_3688evening. I had never been to the place, Premier, on Wiles and University, and its actually rather large. Its a bar and pool hall with a very decent stage.

This gave us some purpose to our practices in the preceding weeks. However, as is usually the case for our band, our  ambitions of practicing longer and more frequently were sabotaged by family illnesses and the normal scheduling conflicts of middle aged guys. Most of our material are songs we’ve worked on the last few years so we stuck with what we know.

We found that the venue had no PA or sound system they would let us use. We bounced around a bunch of ideas as to how we could get decent sound. Our practice P.A. is underpowered for even a small club but we thought adding some powered speakers to the mix would be adequate. Serendipitously, our keyboard player, Marty, contracted a company to record this first gig for posterity, and when we showed up for the gig it turned out that they also were planning on doing our sound as well including setting up a P.A. and mixing our sound. That was unexpected and, other than our playing, was the single most significant factor contributing to the evening’s success.IMG_3658

My nerves were shot for the few days prior to the event. I started forgetting all of the parts to our songs and I feared that when it came time to solo my hands would freeze up. What surprised me was that as we started warming up I was able to relax a bit and I probably played as well as I could hope to. The other guys in the band stepped up and played well and I would imagine that their playing made my playing that much better.

Overall, our first gig was a huge success. I’d have to say that by all objective measures, we achieved more than we ever expected.

  1. People were dancing! The band has talked about songs that could get people to dance but we had no expectation that people would actually get up and dance. By the end of the first set we had a few people dancing. By the middle of the second set we had lots of people dancing. Its great to watch. IMG_3643
  2. I was able to sing and play. As it turned out, I did all right. I suppose the proof will be when we listen to the recording but it felt good.
  3. People told us we were good. While most of our audience were family friends you can usually tell when people think you suck. People were too effusive so I tend think we were at least OK.
  4. We were invited by the venue to come back and play regularly. We brought in customers and the owner liked us. We’re not sure whether we will take him up on his offer but its certainly a positive sign. 

We are not looking to become a professionally gigging band but we would like to play out a few times a year. This was a great first step.

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