After agreeing to be the second-to-last band to perform that day, I realized this was going to be a tall order. I figured at best I could hold the crowd’s attention for around 30 minutes, but I had an hour-and-a-half set ahead. I thought we would ultimately just fall on our damn faces and lose the crowd.
I had an idea, though. I went to the bass player and drummer of Matone, who headline and run the show each year, and I asked them if they could find the time to rehearse with us and learn a few songs. I thought if we could learn two cover songs and one of our originals it would be a successful show. The plan would be for me and Mike to begin the show and then say we were going to take a break, but instead, we would bring the other guys up on stage and give them a few songs on electrical instruments and with drums. I called Chip and shared my thoughts, and he said he’d definitely come down and play the gig with us.
We began rehearsing and quickly realized that we played well together and there was definitely chemistry. We ended up learning three originals and three covers. We really hit it off and were ready for my first performance on stage with a full band of my own in YEARS. I could tell it was going to be good, because both Mick and Dave actually listened to the songs and recognized specific nuances in their composition, all important details they brought to my attention that other players may not have. But the most fun about the opportunity was that we didn’t tell anyone we were going to do it. We wanted it to be a total surprise.
What a great day and a surprise it was! It went exactly as planned, and we pulled it off without a hitch. Mike and I played roughly 30 minutes acoustically and then said we were going to take a break. The crowd looked perplexed—and frankly, disappointed—but after watching other musicians walk up on stage, they became curious. Mick got behind the kit, Dave grabbed his bass, Chip hopped up on stage, Mike and I grabbed our electrics, and we plugged in and ROCKED the place! It was amazing. The crowd jumped up and all moved up in front of the stage and just started jamming with us.
Later I saw a clip someone recorded on their phone, and I could hear a person say, “Man, I had no idea they were that good!” and someone else replied, “Ha ha, that’s what everyone says, but they are badass.” I was over the moon and completely bitten again, compelled to continue performing in some capacity. Everyone in the band except Chip and I were in other bands, and it was going to be difficult to navigate, but I was willing to take whatever I could get in order to keep playing with a full band. We had the momentum, and we were all playing well together. This was definitely going to be a blast..