Wow, what a show! What a crowd! What a band! Everything I love about playing music came together last night. Which is not to say we played a flawless show–far from it. There were minor technical issues and I KNOW I made some tragic gaffes on the guitar. But the band’s energy was amped up so high that we barreled right through all of it and kept the crowd dancing the entire hour.
I have to say that it was an amazing sight to see an ocean of people on the lawn; in fact there wasn’t a bare patch of grass exposed anywhere. The place was wall-to-wall kids, and yet (with the exception of one “lost child!” alert, quickly resolved) I didn’t see any wailing, shoving, or anything, just shiny little faces bopping in the evening light.
There’s always a mob right up at the front of the stage, kids clambering over equipment and one another to be closer to the band, but even that mad crush didn’t turn ugly. In fact it was cute as can be, and no one touched our mic stands, which meant none of the Lemons got knocked in the teeth by microphones. Bonus.
It was a bit of a landmark night for the town of Hoboken, in the wake of the recent political shake-up (our mayor got arrested and then resigned recently). Geri Fallo seemed even bubblier than usual as she announced the new acting mayor’s name in public for the first time, eliciting a huge cheer from the gathered throng. I think the enormous energy of the crowd had us all feeling pumped before we even started the show. In addition, we just finished an intense week in the studio and these days we’re feeling pretty darn good about ourselves musically.
Right as we launched into our first song, “Let’s Be Nice to Monsters,” the PA let out a gawd-awful crackle. It interrupted Kipley just as he was about to start his little into monologue. I looked over at him and he had a huge grin, like he was slightly concerned about the technical issue but it wasn’t going to stop him for a second, and he powered on, never losing the grin. (He later told us that he’s never played one of these shows WITHOUT a technical issue, so he just expects it.) I took my cue from that and played my heart out, and I think everyone else did too.
Which brings me to Randy Taber, who has been doing sound lately for Geri (we first met him at Kiddiepalooza in June). First of all, he and Sweeney arrived at, like, 5:15 (as opposed to their usual 6:00) which gave us GOBS of time to set up and run soundchecks before the show. Then, when we had the issue with the cable crackling, he jumped up on stage and corrected the problem lickety-split. He’s been a tour manager for Pink Floyd cover band The Machine, he teaches sound engineering at William Patterson University, he’s run sound for the Wetlands and B.B. King’s in NYC, and we’re lucky to have him.
Randy’s the reason we felt so good about our performance: Like Dave Entwistle, he makes darn sure we’re getting a great monitor mix and that we’re able to hear ourselves and each other. That’s the key to a great show (the downside is, when I make a goof on the guitar, I can hear it clear as a bell). If we’re struggling on stage, the audience knows it. That was not the case tonight. We were in sonic heaven and as a result–we ROCKED!
Photos and write up here!
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