Last year, you’ll recall, the Lemons cancelled this gig due to the threat of rain (which never fell, naturally). This year, we DID get rained on… but the show must go on!
I suggested to the other Lemons that we try something different this year. The gazebo is cool and all, but it’s very high, and very sheltered, and it kind of distances us from our crowd. Rather than playing way up high in the gazebo, I asked, what if we played down on the sidewalk among our fans? I thought it would make a big difference, taking away the separation from the audience. (Plus, we had a special guest drummer joining us, and I wanted the audience to have a clear view! More on that in a moment.)
We had another change tonight, as well. A young man named Mark Glindmeyer did our sound for us, and he did a great job. He’s MUCH younger than the band but doesn’t mind hanging out with us old-timers. Justin, Dana and Vanessa know him from their church, so it’s like he’s already a part of the gang.
As we were setting up, we chatted with our neighbors, friends, and fans. About 15 minutes before the show, photographer-to-the-stars Joe Epstein sauntered over and showed me the weather app on his phone. An ominous green blob was moving towards us on the map. We hadn’t anticipated anything of the sort! It had been a clear day all day long. Fortunately, Gene the Plumber was there and quickly provided some plastic sheeting in case it rained.
And rain it did. We were just a few songs into our set… as a matter of fact we had just started playing “Jump in a Puddle” when the first few drops fell. I felt it on my back first – we were facing east and the storm was coming in from the west. I hoped it would pass but it just kept getting wetter. We all grimaced at each other, whipped through the song (I skipped the guitar solo) and started throwing plastic over our gear.
Chris writes “…we started Jump in a Puddle and it started drizzling and we didn’t stop, by the end of the song it was a downpour and when I tried to get into the gazebo, I couldn’t because all of our fans were in it, so I ran under a playground tube for shelter, that didn’t work, so I accepted the rain…”
With the gear safely covered, more or less, we turned to take shelter in the gazebo (I thought maybe I’d grab my acoustic and we’d do some unplugged stuff up in there) but with all the families hiding there, there wasn’t an inch of space left for the band! As Chris wrote, we just sort of accepted it and started dancing around in it (not the first time this has happened!) At one point I hollered “it’ll take more than a little rain to stop the Fuzzy Lemons!”
The shower lasted no more than fifteen minutes. Once we were sure it had ended, we uncovered the gear, plugged stuff back in, and went on with the show! Vanessa’s keyboard, unfortunately, had gotten wet and wasn’t working properly (it was back to normal the next day) so she danced and sang and played percussion. I’m proud of all of the Lemons for displaying flexibility and optimism. And I’m simply overjoyed that so many people decided to stay in the park along with us! I don’t think our crowd was noticeably smaller when we resumed playing. Everyone was soggy and grinning and having a ball.
Oh, and did I mention we had a guest star? An eight-year-old named Jake, who got his musical start in my Music Together class (I’m quite proud to say), has been studying drums with Chris at Garden Street Music. I saw a video of his recent recital and was blown away. I asked Chris, discreetly, if he thought Jake might want to do a song with us at Church Square Park, and Chris agreed that Jake would be amazing. So at their next drum lesson, the two of them rehearsed “Rough and Tumble” and we invited Jake up to bash it out with us on stage.
The kid was awesome. Never missed a beat, and in fact when I shouted out “Drum Solo!” halfway through the song, he pounded out some killer fills. The crowd went wild. He’s gonna go far if he doesn’t let success go to his curly, freckled head.
Overall, it was an incredible night, I think one of our best performances to date in terms of fun and overall looseness. We were really relaxed and just enjoyed whatever came, and I think the audience really got into that spirit as well.
That que sera sera spirit continued all night. After the set we’d hoped for our usual dinner at O’Nieal’s but sadly it was not to be. We went to Three A’s instead and ate a great meal of burgers, tortellini, wings, and I got a big steak. Cheers!
-- Weather When Posted --
- Temperature: 32°F;
- Humidity: 47%;
- Heat Index: 32°F;
- Wind Chill: 22°F;
- Pressure: 29.86 in.;