Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our gig in hindsight

We survived our show at the Listening Room last night. No tomatoes thrown, no-one left screaming -- actually we received a lot of great feedback, and most importantly we felt great.

In looking back at what worked and didn't work, the following worked really well:

1) Our set list.
- We started (first impression) and ended (lingering taste) on our strongest songs.
- The second song in the set was a joke song that I've been doing for over 20 years. It gave me a chance to relax as well as broke any tension with the audience.
- Of the 11 songs we did, Julie sang three. We interspersed these in the set. It added variety for the crowd and also gave me a much needed break.
- We had a ton of variety in our set and it seemed to keep people interested.

2) Practicing with a PA beforehand had huge benefits. We were both comfortable singing with mikes and hearing ourself through a monitor.

3) We gained energy from the audience. In the past, I lost energy by being nervous in front of the crowd. Last night, the crowd was like a shot of espresso.

4) We had fun and it showed. All the practice beforehand, let us forget about the music and just have fun.

5) Ability to recover from mistakes. On a few songs, I forgot the words and was able to add in an extra line or two of music to recover. Julie added an impromptu solo on one song until my brain came back from the ozone. I messed up the beat on a song, but just kept bluffing it. Most of the crowd didn't notice.

Things that didn't work that well or would do differently,

1) The songs we struggled with, were newer songs. While its exciting to play newer stuff, they don't have the automatic quality, so mistakes will happen on stage.

2) We used the cover songs early on. In the future, I would move one later in the set.

3) At the last minute in our preparation we thought about an encore. While we chose an old standby, we didn't practice it. My timing was way off. Next time, we'll prepare for an encore.

4) Prepare even earlier. I was the sick all week, so we lost the last week of practice. Next time, I'll remember Murphy's law, and plan for something to come up at the last moment.

All and all, we're really excited by how it turned out and can't wait for the next gig.

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3 Comments:

At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Don M said...

Seemed like overall it went well. I think the point you mentioned about practicing with a PA is an under-used tip. I have found that to be very important as well. Getting used to looking down at your fingers from time to time and looking back up in time to sing into the mike is something to get used to if you're not used to it. If you're NOT used to it, it is just one more negative dynamic - especially if you;re not totally comfortable with playing out yet. (Hmmmm ... there might be article material there ...)

Thanks for the status report. Wish I could have been there.

-dm

 
At 6:08 AM, Anonymous LyricHut said...

Glad to hear things seem to went good for you! Also thanks for stopping by my little blog as well. I appreciate your comments!

If your looking for a fun cover song or two check out http://www.thefools-band.com/

You just might find a good crazy song to play.

ciao!
mark
www.lyrichut.blogspot.com

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Jeff,
You and Julie did great! And I agree with your assessment. The violin with the acoustic guitar songs is not unique, but not as common as it should be, given how good it sounds. Now y'all gotta go hustle up so more gigs. Can't let your fans down! -Rob

 

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