The bluegrass band is loud. It’s one of those gigs with a lot of down time. Two opening acts makes for a lot of waiting. Anybody in the entertainment business knows about waiting.
The “Grasstronauts” are playing. These guys have opened for us before. Their sound is pleasantly traditional, and surprisingly tight and focused, despite the volume. I had underestimated Doug’s (our soundman) ability to mix acoustic music. He has the mix dialed in after the first song and had the instruments yielding a natural woody sound. I might have had the voices riding a little higher in the mix, but that’s a personal preference and nothing to do with technical skill.
As usual the scheduling is off. The opener was supposed to start at seven. The second band started first, at 8 o’clock. The first act will squeeze in second after that, and our band, “Paradise Waits,” will play last. I expect our 10 o’clock start time will be more like 11, but again, that is not unusual.
The venue is warm and inviting. They offer veggie sandwiches, coffee, and WIFI. Though I was down about having to work tonight because of my schedule being extremely hectic this weekend, my mood elevated as soon as I walked in the door. Loading in equipment was easy despite having to park in the rear. Although the stage is in a corner, it turns out to be a comfortable size. The venue’s sound system is clean and capable. Normally I don’t stick around when I arrive four hours before start time, but the food is good, the music is good, the coffee is excellent. And best of all, there is WIFI.
This was supposed to be a big fund raiser for some charity for which I have absolutely no affinity. It’s nine o’clock and the place is empty. There are vendors here hawking jewelry, artists selling painted portraits of Jerry Garcia, and generally adding to the hippy atmosphere of the place. It would be nice if there are more than 10 people in the audience tonight. Last week was the same, and the week before we had 5 people in a room that holds 500. That was the worst.
Hopefully, a few more hippies will crawl out of the woodwork of this sizable Midwestern Big 10 college town. Some of the people here say that it should get crowded later tonight. However, most of the people here are older than college age. My fans are talking to me and fighting for my attention. Boukas (our band leader) just borrowed my computer to buy a compressor on eBay. So I am going to have to say good bye for now.
P.S. Everybody is watching the Bulls game in the bar and will head over here to the stage when it is over (at least in theory).
P.P.S. We eventually did get an enthusiastic crowd of about 50.