Well, after a long soundcheck where we played most of the set, I felt like I was NEARLY ready to play the first show. It was not the best soundcheck- been struggling with some parts. The Furs seemed a bit trepidatious about their new drummer. This was perfectly understandable, as we had yet to get through the set without any issues.
I met my brother-in-law Kevin for supper and kind of pecked at it since my nerves weren’t really leaving me much appetite. We were playing at the Vogue Theater in Indianapolis, which is in the sort of hip end of town called Broadripple. I found a cigar shop and got a Romeo y Julieta Vintage Maduro, stood outside the bus and smoked it while hanging with Kevin. That helped with the nerves a lot. That’s the great thing about quitting smoking- nicotine regains its potency when one loses one’s tolerance for it. A good cigar is like a mild sedative.
I retreated to the bus, did some more studying of the set and before I knew it, we were headed onstage.
The show itself was a huge success, I think. It’s funny- I have been really nerved out playing for the Furs. They’re a band that I have loved for most of my life, and they have very high standards for performance. However, once we were in front of the crowd, well, CROWDS I know. I have been performing most of my life. I have been onstage more times than I have been to get a haircut. Once I was out there, i felt MUCH more comfortable. With the exception of my monitor dropping out during “Love My Way” and me losing the marimba part (which is sequenced, and therefore must be played along to), the set was really, really good. It wasn’t perfect- there are a couple of parts that I need to get a bit more comfortable with, but it was rock and roll, and it was good. During the show, John Ashton was mouthing something to me in the way that musicians do to communicate when they’re playing and it’s loud. I had to really concentrate to make it out…
He was saying… “Don’t…”
Um, got it.
Right. So, I didn’t during the show.
The encore… well… didn’t go as well, but the crowd hardly noticed. Simplest fucking beat in the world, “Sister Europe.” I don’t know how I got it in my head that it was something else. Stupid nervous error. Ah, well. Best forgotten and moved on from.
After the show, we went to the bus. We were all dripping sweat. The Butler brothers gave me a bit of a ribbing about fucking up the encore, but I think all in all, everyone is somewhat pleased that it’s coming together. And it is, despite our short rehearsal schedule and my case of nerves.
We pulled out of Indy and I thought I would try to stay awake and watch that bit of highway go away, since I used to make that drive all the time when I was living in Chicago and my wife’s parents were living outside Bloomington, IN. I don’t even think I made it outside of the city limits before I’d fallen asleep. I woke up in a complete daze in the rear lounge of the bus, laptop open on my lap and no idea where I was or how I’d gotten there.
I stowed my gear and climbed up into my bunk.
Tonight is Chicago, and the House of Blues. I woke up in the bus in the parking garage at the House of Blues, and I am about to jump on the El and do some exploring. I think I might need to buy another pair of jeans since I only brought two pairs and the ones I wore last night got soaked in sweat.
The band has a room at the Sax hotel across from the HOB and I think it’s the nicest room I have ever seen. It’s certainly the nicest one I have ever been in. But now I must abandon it and go exploring. I haven’t been to Chicago since I lived here.