We had 3 shows in the last week. If we were marketing gurus, we’d call that a mini-tour. As a musician, I managed to send an email, practice my parts, and work on some new recordings. But the show themselves went great, characterized by us opening for some great bands.
The Melody Inn of Indianapolis is one of our favorite venues because it supports original music, and has a friendly crowd. We bumbled though our “soundcheck,” but got our levels and warmed into some rockin songs. The follow-up bands, Buster Eagle, and Human Lights, had mad skills and rockin riffs. There was supposed to be another Chicago band, but they were a no-show. Turns out they booked a Chicago show that night. Very bad form
We returned to Chicago and the Elbo Room, which is always a joy to play. Great sound and organization there. The surprise of the evening was the final band, which has a killer jazz ensemble with some hot soloists. I haven’t seen jazz that good in years.
I think The Red Line Tap sometimes gets an unfair rap. It ranks at one of my favorite places to play because the sound and soundman are excellent, and the staff has been friendly to us. The only downside I see is their outdoor (but secure) gear area and loading situation out back. Otherwise, like I said, the sound is good, they keep the show running smoothly, good beer selection, and it has foot traffic, so enjoy!
We debuted a new song, Leavin’, at these shows, worked out the kinks, so we have a new rocker for you. We always have a different setlist, so come see something new at our next show.
Sometimes things work out for the best. I wasn’t on top of my game at the Elbo Room (more on the whole night in a future post), but we made some good connections, which led to setting up a show in Madison on Feb 9th. Check the Live Schedule for details.
Elbo Room was a great early opportunity for Fight Nice. We were surprised and excited when Brian booked the show, and were impressed with the detailed information the venue sent use. We practiced and prepared well, and made some great posters and promotional material.
The day of the show, I was rushed, which was probably good because it used up a lot of mental energy and kept me from getting nervous. But I was on time as usual, loaded in my gear (they actually have a decent space for everyone’s gear), and starting chit-chatting. The sound man, was laid back, cool, and on top of things (bearded and laid-back seems to be a theme with sound men). The other bands were very friendly and I made some nice connections. In fact, Tommy from The Choons has another band in Madison, and booked us for a show there in a couple weeks. Tim is especially excited since he went to school in Madison. One of his connections from there is even a fan of The Choons. Small world.
Eventually we settled in to watch the other bands. The Choons had a knack for engaging the crowd; definitely some things for us to learn from about that. Brandon James and the Middle City Sound blew us away with their musicianship and top-notch performance. Something special to keep on eye on ther, and Boyang — their bassist –was very friendly throughout, a joy to talk shop with. The last band — Fox DeLuxe — while they were quite friendly and played spot on, wasn’t my cup of tea. The fact that they weren’t sure how to pronounce their own band name should have clued me in to the variety-show sort of banter and irony they would incorporate into their show. But they played well, had a lot of fans, so all’s good.
I am not happy with my own performance. While I wasn’t nervous, I felt wooden and tight the whole time, and never loosened up. It affected my singing, my timing, my interaction with the guys, my movement, my perception of everything. My (background) vocals were too loud, louder than Tim’s lead vocals, and out of tune. I think the hi-hat on the drumset was falling apart. Our soundcheck took too long, and I didn’t know what to ask SoundMan for in the monitors. I couldn’t hear my bass. Tim’s mic stand kept drooping, and he was correcting it between songs, the creaking of which sounded like belching to me, very confusing until SoundMan told us to stop moving the mic stand and tighten the boom. And I knew it was all being video taped. I purposely didn’t tell Tim and Brian that.
I talked with SoundMan afterwards, and he thought it went ok, and helped me figure out a bit more etiquette for the live sound. I’d love to play there again, perhaps with some more performance practice under our belt. It can go so well in rehearsal, but it takes some skill translating that comfortable energy to the stage. Which is why we are trying to play so many shows. We want to be at the top of our game, with no excuses for being otherwise.
- The Reason
- I Guess I Thought I Was Lonely
- There’s No Such Thing As Tomorrow
- The Happy Valley Set
- We’re The Right Ones
- Sir Blanche DuBois
- It Might Be So True
- Don’t Make Me Show You