Not every show goes according to plan. Not every note hits the way you want it to. Every story doesn’t strike the audience the same way. They don’t always react like another crowd. Not every room is the same, and every night you have to be on your game.
The Glass Onion started out pretty tough. But it wasn’t anything anyone did. It was just the whole “Thinking-too-critically-about-yourself” thing that I do. When we pulled up to the venue, I told Trevor, “Dude… I’m feeling antsy…. I need to go for a walk.” And after meeting everyone and getting somewhat set up, I grabbed my hazelnut mocha and walked around for a bit. I ended up sitting on the patio furniture outside and could not escape my head. The thoughts were racing. I kept thinking, “This room is too small for the sound system we’re gonna try to use.”, “Why do I feel like crud?”, “People aren’t going to like me…”
It was my turn to go up on stage, and I still couldn’t get out of my head after the Brandon Jim Band finished their set. I sang the first song, and was literally horrified cause as an acoustic artist, when people talk over you, it’s a pretty low feeling. I played the second song, same thing. Then I played the third song, and all hell broke loose. My string popped, in the middle of “Sarah’s Song” and there was literally no way to fix it.
My head started racing. I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be back at Trevor’s place, asleep on the couch… Then I remembered watching Eric Hutchinson last summer.
He literally had the same type of thing happen when he was on stage. He started playing, and his keyboard went out…. He basically had to fake being happy the entire show, and I could see that it was tough. Somewhere in this split second of thinking about his show, I remembered that I’m okay. That I can make this show work. I just need to figure out a way to take control of the situation.
I grabbed Brandon’s guitar and asked the crowd if they would mind if I went completely acoustic. Nobody said anything… so I took that as a yes… I proceeded to play the next hour straight with no mics, and no pick-ups… and everyone who was talking over me started to move outside. It was like when a teacher starts talking to the class quieter because they aren’t listening…
I had a couple requests to play some older songs, and that helped boost my confidence and when the night was done, I’d sold a dozen or so CD’s and had everyone telling me how amazing the show was.
The point of the story is this. I have to remind myself regularly that the situation isn’t as bleak as I think it is. People don’t come to shows just to see how much I suck. (Sometimes I literally think that…) People don’t always want to hate me. There may be a few bad apples, but overall, the people that are coming to my shows are actually on my team!
I hung out at the Glass Onion for a little bit and had another coffee with Jen, the owner. (And an INCREDIBLE hugger, and a CRAZY foxy cougar!!! ) She showed me all of the Beatles pictures, a picture of Jimi Hendrix filming Janis Joplin, (Which would go PERFECT in my living room…..:-P) and just made me feel so at home. I love that venue and it’s quirkiness, and if you live in Tucson, I hope you get the chance to go out and visit them.
Brandon Jim Band was full of a bunch of great guys who all individually came up and thanked me for playing with them and they brought out a ton of fans! Once again, I’m blown away by the friendships I’m making on this tour! I wish I could have hung out more with them, but I had already made plans with Cameron Hood of Ryanhood.
Cameron showed up at the venue, and we headed over to a taco shop to hang out with Trevor and some of his friends. We talked and ate and bounced back to Trevor’s place where we started showing each other songs we hadn’t played the night before. We started writing a song pretty much about my night. (Unbeknownst to Cameron…) Called “Oh Dear”. It will be interesting to see where it goes, cause We basically got the bridge down, the chorus constructed and a melody line for the verses. Cameron is a phenomenal lyricist and player, and I was so stoked that he liked my ideas for his original thought. I really hope to get to play with Ryanhood again soon.
Well, I must go to a quick breakfast with Trevor, and race to Albuquerque for the show tonight. Hallenbrick- 7:00. See you in New Mexico!
P.S. I didn’t really talk about burritos… so here’s a picture of one…