CD release and Tic Tac Toe
Tic Tac Toe off, CD release party
It was a chilly Friday night, 10/21/05, at the Soiled Dove in Denver. The SD is a really cool venue. It seats about 350, and is set up for music. The stage is about mid-wall on one side, and the seating semi-circular around it, with the bar and the sound booth opposite the stage. I had always wanted to play there.
We arrived at 6:45, unloaded the equipment, the CDs, and the Rock Star Mojo. The headlining band, 10-cent Redemption, were still setting up and sound checking. Right behind us, the opening band was packing in also. They had a pretty good amount of equipment, but very few bands play with the same equipment. Itís hard to believe, I know, but Iíve never even seen a drummer who uses my same setup as I do. You wouldnít think there were that many combinations. *shrug*
Rather than hang around with nothing to do besides listen to "Check. Check 1, 2. Check. Check 2.", we went across the street to the Lodo Bar and Grill. The guys from 10-cent showed up after a while and a bunch of other fans of my band, The Bad Directions, who were there for support, especially for this gig, since it was our CD release party.
There werenít many people there that I knew, since Iíve only been in the band for 5 weeks or so, so we sat at the table and had dinner. This place actually had a very extensive menu, covering everything from typical barroom fare to gourmet salads. They even had meatloaf! WOOT!
Of course, it was all-you-can-eat fish and chips night, so I ordered that, ate about half of it, and gave the rest to Brad. While waiting for the food to arrive, we kept ourselves entertained by drawing on the table with crayons. Ya see, it had a big sheet of thick, white paper on it. Now thatís class. After the obligatory hand-trace turkey and a Picasso-esque Tic Tac Toe design, the competition started for real. The gauntlet thrown, the pound sign drawn, the Friday night Tic Tac Toe world championships began.
[/sports caster voice]
Itís hot and heavy here tonight folks, as our competitors ready themselves for this Xtreme challenge. The championís glaring at the challenger while he sharpens his crayon on the table cover. Hereís the board! The play is X in the center! An O in the corner! X in the corner! Oh, a well-played blocking move by the challenger! Another block by the champ. Oh, itís a cats game.
Whew! This is intense gaming folks, I canít believe the stamina of these athletes. Theyíre gearing up for the second game now. The boardís drawn, Champ starts out in the middle again, countermove! Move! Countermove! Itís going so fast itís hard for me to follow folks! It's just a blur of purple and light blue. Ther it is! Another cats game!
Somethingís happening folks, uh-oh, itís getting serious. HeísÖOh, donít tell meÖI donít believe it folks, heís taking it off! Heís peeling, no, stripping the upper paper RIGHT OFF OF HIS CRAYON! This is crazy, folks. Crazy! The air is electric with anticipation and suspense.
Champ tries a different strategy this time, he marks the corner! Countermove to the right corner, champ goes across the board to the opposite corner. Challenger marks the middle, lining up for the win! Whew, our champ blocks the win with a brilliant countermove to the corner! The challenger looks at the board! Oh, victory to our champ, he has 3 corners and the challenger can only block one! Oh the glory! 3 Xs RIGHT IN A ROW! The roar of the audience is deafening folks. Now hereís theÖ What? Oh, the foodís here. [/sports caster voice]
Holy shit! I ordered fish and chips not aquarium and chips! Good thing it was a big plate, that was a lot of fish! Since there was no way to eat it all, I didnít. Wow, that sentence was a profoundly irrelevant statement of the obvious, no?
We went back across the street about 8:45, I had to start setting up my drums and I wanted to do it before Sweet Mo started playing. Itís surprising how long it can take to set up all the stands, put all of the cymbals on them, put the toms into the bass drum, etc. This is something you do not want to be doing after the first band is done. It dramatically increases the set up time and for the crowdís sake this is not only unprofessional, but also inconsiderate. It's also something that shouldn't be done while the opening band is playing.
The first band, Sweet Mo, was a bunch of guys either pushing or pulling their 50s. The bass player was this jolly, round, grandfatherly-looking fellow who played left-handed. Of course he had a right-handed bass, and I thought it looked silly with the pick guard on top of the strings, but who am I to judge. The band was great. Nice harmonies, nice sound. Their music was very classic rock sounding, sort or reminiscent of Poco or Little Feat. The music was really interesting, too. And tight! OMG, it was tight.
They finished up, and it was show time. After they cleared the stage, we quickly set up and did our 2-minute sound check to ensure the right crowd mix/monitor mix, etc. Off we went! Our set was about 45 or 50 minutes I think, and other than one song that I cut off a little (1 measure) short, I was pleased with the performance. IĎd had about 4 practices to get everything down, and there are a lot of stops and changes in the songs, but we hit them all.
Pretty soon the set was over, and I was moving my equipment off the stage and breaking it down. Brad and Dan got there stuff off too, and were immediately surrounded by 8 or 9 people. WTF? Oh, people are buying CDs! Sweet!
When I was done breaking down, I moved everything out to the car. I donít like to leave it in the bar, Iím always worried Iíll forget something and that I have to watch my stuff. So, out it went and around to mingle I went. Many people told me and the other guys that BD has never sounded better. *stands up straighter* Really? Thanks, Iím glad you enjoyed it!
Carlos, the previous drummer (who is on the CD) praised me the most lavishly. I thanked him graciously, and for a few minutes and any number of handshakes, there was an angelic barrage of complimentary missiles flying back and forth between us. Awesome! After one more cocktail (thanks Dan!), it was time to head home. I felt really happy with the gig, and also happy that I could be a part of a great CD release party. I think Brad sold about 12 or so CDs, which Iíd consider a success!