I had a gig this weekend. Me and the Band. It was at one of those crappy bars where they decided to put up a stage as an afterthought. I wouldn’t even really call it a stage. It was a square of plywood pushed up against the wall amid the tables and chairs.
So small that Guitarist felt like he wouldn’t fit and stood off to the side of the stage. So small that the way the sound system was set up we couldn’t really hear ourselves. And I kept getting feedback on the mic.
There was so much feedback that I had to step down from the stage and stand a few feet in front of it. I found a little “box” of safe space I could stand in where the mic wouldn’t feed on me. <– that sounds horrible, doesn’t it? There’s a whole bunch of music/band lingo that just doesn’t sound right to me.
Anyway, with all the feedback and the tiny stage and lack of lighting of any kind (I think Drummer had 1 light to see his drum kit. 1!!) and everything going wrong I said a mental f.u. to the night and sang like I would if no one was there.
It was actually kind of liberating. The bar was crowded, which is a great way to play, and I felt like we were all in on some big joke; Look how ridiculous this band looks trying to play a show on this tiny stage where no one knows who they are or really cares. And we play all original songs, too, so they couldn’t even sing along if they wanted.
Nothing says “don’t take yourself too seriously” like playing a crappy bar like this.
Taking the stuff that went wrong and laughing at it turned out to be a really good experience. I felt free. And the Guitarist’s Girlfriend (GG) told me that was the best she’d seen me perform. So there’s that.
But then Drunk Guy #1 told me that he could tell I really liked singing. And that he gave me credit for that. Because I needed his credit.
And Drunk Guy #2 told me I was WAY HOTTER when I was singing. Which makes a person especially self-conscious when they’re not, at that moment, singing.
Yeah, ahem. Just smile and walk away.
You know, I guess it’s better to have people coming up to me after the show and saying anything at all rather than ignoring me completely. Progress.