Story Time

No music today, just one of them good ol’ Tales From The Road too strange to not share. BIG LARGE MUSIC ANNOUNCEMENT COMING NEXT WEEK! STAY TUNED TO THIS HERE BLOG!

Yesterday afternoon, my buddy Daniel Ball Jr. and I set out to play the Utica Music and Arts Fest in Central New York state. It’s a three-day affair with plenty of bands and alcohol for everybody. Wandering around after our set, I could definitely see the big potential with this festival. It’s a great idea for a town that needs at least a few more.

We were scheduled to play at 6 and requested to show up two hours early for registration and stuff, which we were able to do without a problem. Well, we registered and drove over to our venue… and one could just see the tumbleweeds rolling along on the street. It was 4:00 and our venue – and the venue next door – wasn’t even open! All we could do is wander around and wait for the owner to show up… and wait… and wait… and wait some more (Dan and I helped a band from Boston called The Van Burens load in to kill some time) until the most surreal scenario happened.

I was let in to the bar at around 5:15 while Dan and his wife were off eating dinner. Hey, great! But… I didn’t drive and the PA system is nowhere to be seen. So there I was, hanging out by myself in an empty bar with nothing to do. Couldn’t load in ’cause it wasn’t my car. Couldn’t set anything up ’cause the PA was locked. I only had one thought: “This is beyond stupid.” Fortunately, the pool table was free; after his dinner and our load-in, Dan and I played a game of 8-ball while waiting for Bonehead Owner and Numbskull Soundguy to show up.

Eventually, Bonehead Owner did show up… three minutes before we were supposed to start playing. What the hell?! Where in the world was this guy?! Well, it turns out he read the bar next door’s schedule and thought his place’s first act took the “stage” (there was no actual stage) at 6:45, not 6. Adding further insult to insult, Numbskull Soundguy wasn’t there yet (he showed up about halfway through our set)! That meant we had to set up the PA ourselves (stored in a locked closet)… which we did and then started playing around 20-30 minutes behind schedule. Our set got off to a slightly rocky start, but it went well once Dan turned his brain off (Word to the wise, kids: Don’t mentally judge your performance while onstage. Nobody in the audience will notice or care unless you REALLY screw up). The fact that the crowd grew in size during our set also helped out…

So, did I have a good time? Yeah, I think so. I still enjoy the playing aspect of playing gigs, we had a good audience, and wandering around hearing other bands playing at other venues was really cool. I just wish we played at either a later time or in a venue where the owner had his crap together. But there’s a happy resolution: Dan was promised a gig in one of the fest’s more popular venues next year as a result of this nonsense, so he was already exited for 2011 when we left town. See you next year, Utica…

(Incidentally, I won the pre-set game of 8-ball. Dan won the post-set game.)

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