When we played the UC MusicFest this summer, my biggest wish (other than landing a slot opening for TMBG) was to build a good relationship with This Is It! Productions, because their website shows them running events all over the state of NJ every summer.
Well, it seems like we’re off to a good start, because Deanna Hunt e-mailed us a few weeks back and invited us to perform at the grand opening of the new Clearview Cinema movie theater, right here in Hoboken! The theater has been the talk of the town for a long time, everyone’s excited to have it (and also concerned about the effect on parking, as usual).
(Within a day of receiving Deanna’s note, I also got an e-mail from Geri Fallo about the event. I told Geri that we’d already been contacted, and she replied that we should roll on ahead with This Is It! because they were the ones signing the checks.)
We were already booked for a private gig later that day so we nailed down the 11:00 and noon slots. I was able to get in touch with the sound crew well in advance of the event and lay out our full technical needs, and you could almost hear the angels’ voices bursting forth when the guys said “we’ll have 6 monitors and a 64-channel mixer.” Finally! A stage setup worthy of our Lemony awesomeness! No, no, it’s not like that, it’s just that we need a lot of channels and a lot of sound and it seemed like we were really gonna get it.
As the date closed in, so did the bad weather. The week leading up to the event, of course, was sunny and clear, but every weather report indicated that Saturday was going to be horrific: wet, cold, and windy. So a few days out we got a urgent request: Could we move our gig to Sunday morning instead?
“No sweat,” said the reliable and ever-flexible Lemons. So we played our private gig on Saturday and then left our entire PA setup in Dana’s truck afterwards, not knowing if we’d need it after all on Sunday (but hoping that we would still be getting the full rock-star setup).
Sunday dawned clear and gorgeous, and the oh-so-punctual Lemons arrived at the movie theater before 9:30. At 10:15 we were still watching them build the stage. Rock and roll is a lot like being in the military, in the sense that (a) there’s always a ton of gear to haul, and (b) once you’ve hauled it it’s hurry-up-and-wait time. We passed the time picking the nimble brain of DJ Mickey G, whom we’d met at UC MusicFest, about how Radio Disney works and would it be worthwhile to pursue a contact with them (it probably would, as it turns out).
Then, of course, at 10:30 when the stage was fully erected, we did our mad scramble to set up our own gear (drums, guitars, keyboards, accordion, horns, bass amp, etc) while the crew set up the mics and monitors around us. We had an 11:00 start time, remember!
I’m not complaining, mind you. We love a good sound check but understand when it’s not in the cards. And Mike K. and his team were crackerjack, they had us up and sound-checked in short order. In fact he had the coolest toy I’ve ever seen: a wireless setup that let him run a virtual soundboard from his laptop. He wandered around the stage, going to each member of the band and getting us our own personalize sound mixes, tapping on his laptop and moving on. I know what the Lemons want for Christmas….
Ok, enough about the setup! I know it’s deathly dull for you readers, but for the band it’s often the thing that stands out from one gig to the next. No matter how much we rehearse, the on-stage technical stuff (and the people running it) can make or break a gig.
In this case I am pleased to say we had a rockin’ show, everyone had their own custom monitor mix and the sound out in the seating area (giant bales of hay set up by the HFA, I believe) was clear as a ball, as evidenced by some cell-phone camera footage I’ve seen since the event (see below). So full-on kudos to everyone involved in the event. A big crowd came out and we saw a lot of familiar faces dancing. I don’t think there were as many people as there were at our Shipyard gig in July, but for a chilly Sunday morning in October I think it was a fantastic turnout.
-- Weather When Posted --
- Temperature: 67°F;
- Humidity: 43%;
- Heat Index: 66°F;
- Wind Chill: 67°F;
- Pressure: 30.24 in.;