Thursday - February 19, 2015
... it's probably been 14 years since I've played an instrument standing up... on stage.
... so I get a text from AJ (The Sole Pursuit) a couple weeks ago... told me Chad (bassist) couldn't do the shows and if I wanted to (half jokingly) come play bass for a couple US dates they had coming up.
"... for f#&$ sakes."
... that's actually what I wrote them back... I thought it was funny and I knew it'd make them laugh.
... speaking of funny... funny enough this all went alongside a trip I was already planning to the US. I told Kyle and AJ to keep asking around but if they're stuck, I'll do what I can to shuffle around the schedule... Wednesday morning I found myself at Long & McQuade looking for an appropriate bass for the gig.
I'll be honest... it's been forever since I've had to stand and play an instrument... I mean... I play guitar all the time in the studio... but sitting vs standing... your wrist just does this... weird... so uncomfortable... it's better if I shorten the strap... but now... I look like that guy.
... playing drums is so much easier.
Long story short... 9 days and 2 rehearsals later, here I am in Harrisburg, PA, playing bass guitar for The Sole Pursuit for 2 shows at the Millenium Music Conference.
(... because I totally had time in my schedule to learn 10 songs on an instrument I can't stand and play!)
... it was for a good cause though! The guys are planning to get their P2 visas this year and tour as much as possible. I don't think they mind having me tag along just for piece of mind though... especially calming some nerves at the border... which went pretty smoothly.
#DearBands - Show people you've done your homework and trying (that thing that sometimes takes time, effort, and money) and they might not give you a hard time.
The drive was around 7hrs... plus 1.5hrs at the border... plus lunch. We left Toronto at 8am, arrived here at 7pm... I slept most of it though which was nice... it's been a long couple days to say the least...
So tonight we played the hotel bar of where the conference is taking place.
As soon as we walked in all I could think was "ok great, we're playing a Kelsey's." Not much will get you more stoked to play your first vertical show in 14 years than knowing people are eating chicken pot pie and wondering when you're going to start playing some Third Eye Blind covers or something.
I rehearsed the set again by myself in the hotel room... got my gear on... headed down at 8:45pm for our 9pm set.
It's funny what happens to your body during "game time". You can practice and practice, having fun, playing things perfectly... but your body is somewhat relaxed under those conditions. You change the conditions and you change the variable that makes the biggest difference... in my opinion. Studios and rehearsal spaces are very controlled.
The show went well though... I hit a boatload of wrong notes (maybe 3-4/song) but I don't think many people noticed.
I wished I'd had moved around more on stage... but again... different conditions from the stages I've played the last few years... it felt like a Kelsey's... a small stage and I didn't want to get in anybody's way... that's my excuse at least.
I found myself looking at the frets a lot too... which I don't/didn't really do in rehearsal... either of them.
Kyle (singer/guitarist/band leader) seemed pretty happy with the show. We all sorta need to police ourselves but at the end of the day someone needs to give the band a thumbs up or down after shows... can't all be up, can't all be down... but he gave thumbs up. We got through it... started strong and ended strong... looking forward to the next one now... it's addictive.
... it was nice finishing a set without "swamp ass" too.
Highlight of the day though was meeting Nancy Matthews... Scarlet White's manager (EOS Artist Management) and sponsor for my O-1 Visa. There are so many people these days you only know through texts, emails, skype meetings and phone calls where it's nice to finally meet them in person!
I emailed Nancy last week that my Visa had been approved and that it was looking like I was heading to Harrisburg to do a couple shows and finally confirm some meetings. She immediately called me to ask if it was the MMC we were playing... her and Scott (Husband) would be there... she's speaking on one of the panels!
... small world sometimes.
We all hung out after the set... had a few drinks and some good laughs... good times.
... just got word... it's looking like I'm officially off to Philadelphia tomorrow to see Helmet. I'm super stoked about that... stoked enough I feel the use of the word "stoked" is appropriate.
The guys (The Sole Pursuit) are doing an acoustic set tomorrow but it's full band again on Saturday.
- Mike :-)
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!