Jesse sent me an e-mail this morning, inviting me to play a few acoustic tracks on his set tonight at the Elmdale Tavern in Hintonburg. Naturally, I couldn’t say no. I got to his place early, and in the four hours leading up to the show, we worked out the arrangements.
The venue was nice and cozy, with the front tables only a few feet from the stage (which was barely elevated itself). There was no kitchen but a bar and a pool table in two main rooms, and this fact meant the place lent itself to people coming to watch something, instead of socializing and talking over it, as it commonly happens in a restaurant or pub with live music.
I wasn’t nervous the entire night until the minute up to the very first song; I was doing the main chords and it would have been painfully obvious had I made a mistake.
And since we were unamplified, we came off the stage and stood at the tables, with Jesse resting his glockenspiel on the front-most one. It made the audience all the more visible — and me all the more nervous — so I just kept my eye on Jesse for timing and volume cues to take my mind off it.
But with a little more time, experience, and practice, we nailed every track. Also included was an appropriately spotlighted group high-five after the Videotape-Write Protected-VCR medley, which is certainly the most difficult piece (on my end) due to the fact that I’m playing the vamp that leads the transition between each piece and the timing is really tricky to get down. I also noticed that I kept strumming my strings habitually to make sure I was in tune to avoid the disaster that happened last time.
A tall, dark-haired gentleman with a cigarette in his hand said, “Good job, buddy. It sounded great.” as I was walking by to load gear in my car. It was a nice little acknowledgment.