New York City, Cynical Capital of the World
So, Saturday’s show, in retrospect…
Well, it was a huge success, all things considered. We had never rehearsed or performed a full acoustic set, let alone without a drummer, let alone with an upright bass. Tony and Paul sat on stools, but I stood to keep my energy level up. I scribbled a smiley face on my set list to remind me to enjoy it, and as importantly, to look like I was enjoying it. I gave all I had. On the game tape, I’m sweating like mad, stomping and bouncing around with full abandon.
My concern had been that the Saturday night Arlene crowd would be rabid to rock with full distortion and drums. But to the contrary, the audience hung with us enthusiastically. One older guy on stage right actually started clapping along in time, and got a few people to join him — in New York City, Cynical Capital of the World! And during the solo of “I’ll be Waiting,” Tony’s percussive bass solo had the audience cheering! His aggressive bass slapping even managed to blow a monitor.
So… I’m not sure I’d like to wing it like that again, I prefer to play acoustic/electric with the full band, especially at the bigger venues. But it was a nice twist, and a nice glimpse behind the scrim. “Crash Site,” which Tony bowed like a cello, and “Summer’s Gone,” which Paul belted out with confidence, seemed to really hit well. Ironically, I dropped “Never Be The Same” mid-set, much to Tony and Paul’s chagrin — it was the new drummer’s inability to hold that beat that motivated me to can him (not that he wasn’t a terrific guy, he was, er, is). So, success. Hope you didn’t miss it!