Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

High Times, Low Times in Live Times

November 3, 2011
bradspurgeon

I have said this before, and I will probably say it again: The beauty of live performance is that sometimes it just goes bad. And that makes the great stuff that much greater. If it was not that alive, it would not be live. Last night I returned to the Highlander and used my new Gibson J200 for the first time, and I had planned to do three songs I rarely do there, as I do not like to only do what “works,” as I do so often the same songs. Well, guess what? It did not “work.” At least, that’s how I felt personally. The J200 gave feedback throughout, sounded like crap – only because I have not mastered the complicated controls of the Fishman pick-up – and I was continually trying to feel comfortable, between the guitar and the monitor and the songs I do not usually sing. In the end, though, at least one other performer told me it was “good anyway.” So I slept okay.

Of course, it did not help that there were some fabulous performers there after me! The one that stood out the most while I was there was Joe, who I have recorded before from his stint at the Cavern Club vocal jam open mic a month or so ago. This time Joe played his guitar and sang, and boy did he ever. It was great – especially his first and last songs, the last being Bob Marley….

So I decided to go off to the Cavern and maybe do something there in the vocal jam to save my sense of the evening. But there were a lot of performers and a lot of them were superb, and the tone was sort of soul-like, sort of nightclub ballroom Las Vegas like, as it often is, sort of professional and polished. So I sort of left after a single set – but loved most of what I heard.

Better luck tonight at the Mazet. And in the next few days I know there is something absolutely super cool and great coming up, which I will speak about when the right moment comes – probably after the show!!!

Oh, and to conclude: After a night when you feel like things went crap during a live performance, you HAVE to say, “Thanks so much! That gives more value to when it works! And that is precisely what makes ‘live music’ so special.”

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