The Ramone- Sore Fingertips and a Sunburned Face

I have not done a “gig recap” in a while because they are pretty much all the same at this point
Not that they aren’t different in their own way, it’s just that I have gotten to the point where there enough gigs for things to settle into a pattern
This was a night that was very good for me because it threw some curve balls at me

I took a last minute gig this past Saturday
It was a battle of the bands to determine who plays the Remember the Punks festival in San Antonio
I was told I was going on first (which is where I always am) but that gives me plenty of time to set things up perfectly
After getting half set up, I was told that a band was added and that they were going on before me
This made me reconsider my live setup and how complicated I have made it

I have a headphone mic cable, a guitar cable and a 1/8 headphone extension taped together to run to the direct boxes and then to the board
These signals also go back to my own mixer that either goes to my in ear monitors or a powered speaker
I feel much more comfortable being able to adjust my own monitor mix on the fly and like how in the in ear monitors eliminate any chance of mic feedback
My biggest issue is that I don’t want to spend my entire set asking the sound engineer to change the monitor mix because it detracts from the presentation
I find it irritating as an audience member, maybe it’s just me

*For those of you who have not been on stage before, the way you hear sound at the beginning of a show may not be the way you hear it later
It is kinda like when your eyes adjust to sunlight but it is not a physical reaction like an iris
You learn to mentally separate the individual instruments

Remember how I mentioned reducing mic feedback?
That’s because my current headset mic is not the best for this application
It is a Shure SM-10A which is clasified as a “presentation headset” for public speaking and sportscasting
The mic is considered pretty decent quality but it isn’t made for such a high sound pressure application
It’s not that I sing very loudly into the mic, it is that the mic isn’t made for the high levels that a stage produces
The benefit of the headset mic is that I can go anywhere on the stage and not have to go back to the mic to sing
I also need to be able to move my head in any direction to navigate the set and don’t like the restriction of having to turn my head back to the mic
Due to the pressure of changeover being quick and the headset sounding like poop, I decided to go with a regular vocal mic
In fact, I decided to get rid of the mixer entirely and go old school
My guitar pedal and the sampler still went through direct boxes but I relied entirely on the stage monitors
My confidence is pretty high after the hundreds of times I have played these songs in one form or another over the last year so I figured I could go on auto pilot
This is something I have to do the majority of times when I played drums in a live band situation
You get hurried on and off the stage so fast that I have sacrificed monitors for expediency
Other than some chord flubbing, I pretty much made it through without any major malfunctions
I couldn’t hear the vocals as much and that made me sing a little louder than I would have liked but all in all, I did well
Speaking of equipment I need to replace, a fan was blowing my video screen out of allignment
I need one of those stretchy screens so that I don’t have to deal with the limitations of the roll down variety
Too bad I none of the gig was recorded
I brought video cameras but I did what I always do (or don’t do) which is to turn on the video camera but forget to press record because I’m about to go on and thinking about a million things at once
I ran over to the 2nd camera and discovered that the leg had snapped off the mini tripod and the camera fell over (no idea why)

I didn’t win the contest but a gig is a gig, especially at 3 Links
The good part is that I gained enough confidence that I can do more gigs without the complicated setup until I get the proper headset mic
This would normally be the end of the evening but it was an early show and the Queers were playing around the corner at Curtain Club
I brought my busking amp and was lucky to get one of the free spaces behind Trees earlier in the day
All of my stage gear was packed up and I assembled the busking gear, which meant back to the headset mic /guitar cable setup
I also meant to bring a video camera but left it in the car by mistake
Being on the corner right by Curtain, I would catch the crowd runoff from The Queers and even run into the band themselves
I was hoping they would see me playing and I could angle for an opening spot and even jump on a tour
I was out there for a few more hours, got tipped fairly well and played until it looked like the crowd had emptied out of Curtain
With my stuff packed up, I figured I’d go catch them as they were loading out but they had already gone
I played a lot that night and that’s where I got my sore fingertips
The sunburned face was from Sunday when I went with the band Born N Raised as they played Sis Flags
I was there for about 12 hours and had a great time
Thanks a lot to all the guys in the band

All in all, this was a very productive and positive weekend which has given me a little extra boost of energy to add to both my booking aspirations and to finishing the bass videos of the new set
Unfortunately, I am going to have to wait until my face isn’t beet red to shoot those bass videos but that’s not so bad considering how it got that way

Thanks also to Denise and Yo for coming out and taking a few pictures of the show

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