Monday, October 2nd at 10:45 p.m.
313 Bowery, New York City
One rented Ryder light truck, 1 car, 3 keyboards, 2 keyboard stands, 2 effects pedals, 2 mics, 2 microphone stands, 2 speakers, 2 speaker stands, 1 haze machine, a variety of MIDI and sound engineering machines, hundreds of cords, 2 extension bars, 4 planks of lighting with 3 to 2 lights each, 1 roll of duct tape, 3 bottles of water, 3 band members, 2 stagehands, 3 black eyeliner pencils....
(When you're an electronic band, gear is a part of life, to the point where it ceases to be "gear" and becomes "Gear," an unpredictable and powerful entity that must be coddled and placated. The Gear made two round trips out of the truck we rented.)
7:15 p.m. - Bandmembers Eric and Deborah, his friends and our stagehands Lance and Enrique, and I disassembled the practice area. (Eric had measured the Gallery's stage weeks ago and put masking tape down on our floor in the precise dimensions of the space we'd be performing in. The temptation to add a body outline had been staggering, but I resisted. We practiced within those tape lines for a month, so we knew where we would be and where things would go on stage.) In 20 minutes we had the Gear packed and by 8:00 it all filled the light truck we rented.
9:00 p.m. - 9:35 p.m. - Dressed and made-up, we took to the road, with Eric in the truck, the rest of us in my Saturn. To everyone's shock, we traveled from Queens to Manhattan in only 20 minutes. However, it took me another 15 minutes to park the car. At least I missed out on some of the unloading....
9:25 - 9:50 p.m. - Everything out of the truck. We waited for the other band to finish so we could get our Gear on stage.
10 p.m. - We started putting our stage environment together, with 98% of the cords coming out of what we called "The Magic Box," the tall, wheeled case that supplies power, engineers sound, and controls our lights. We re-assembled, plugged in, taped cords down to the floor so Eric wouldn't kill himself during a dramatic moment.... I was already too hot in my ankle-length faux velvet dress, but I would put on my satin evening gloves in a moment anyway.
10:45 - 11:00 p.m. - This is the sound check that doesn't end / It just goes on and on, my friend.... Apparently, our engineering equipment made us too loud for the house. Go figure. My own vocals had to be routed through the house system instead of our own due to all the feedback we kept getting no matter how many adjustments we made. I started out singing parts of our set, but as the check went on I decided there was no need to reveal the whole show, so I went back to "Check 1, check 2...." At one point, I started with "Check 13, check 14.... Helloooooo to the house!" The last one got me a few Yo!s from the audience. The crowd was becoming restless, but more people started wandering in, a definite good thing.
11:02 p.m. - Show time. My nervousness had fled sometime during the long, long sound check, so now I just had a focused urge to do it all right.The lighting looked great; Deb did a great job as controller. Deb, who figured no one would see her, was visible at all times over her board on The Magic Box due to her small but powerful light that lets her see what she's doing. I was fitfully visible since my spotlight wasn't placed quite right, but I'm told that the audience could see me even though I became invisible in the darkness on videotape. Eric put his soul into his performance, ranging the stage. Eric was in fine voice, and my own was in great form too, though I bolstered it with bottled water any moment I could and popped two cinnamon Tic Tacs to get through the vocal acrobatics I do for our closing number, "The Machine." One of the three keyboards failed for the first two numbers we used it for, though we later fixed the problem. (Fickle, fickle Gear.) Our haze machine left most of the audience invisible to me, though I could just make out the candles on the tables and some of our friends sitting in the corner. I do believe we had a good crowd even if I couldn't see them very well, and we got a good response too. (Sorry, I really wish I could write this bit better, but I can't ever describe onstage very well because I'm too focused at the time on living through it.)
11:57 p.m. - Eric screamed out his last words onstage for the night, "The machine!" the music ended, and the show was over. Applause erupted. I let myself breathe again.
midnight through 2:45 a.m. - Eric worked the crowd and smiled at the congratulations of friends. He was very happy with the show. Deb and I, wallflowers both, accepted the congratulations of friends before finding a couch to settle on and petting the house's cat. Even so, we worked as well, though with fewer people for longer periods of time each.
2:45 a.m. - Loaded the Gear on the truck and returned home in 25 minutes. Unloaded the truck and dropped it off back at the rental lot.
4 a.m. - Home again. Bed at last.
Aftermath - Eric intends to start working it in getting us gigs. This is only the beginning....
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