Warning to my normal readers, there is no crafting in this post, it's about music stuff, there's a lot of links, it's probably not that entertaining, but something really exciting happens at the end. So yeah, skip to there if you want to read a good story.
This past weekend, Curt & I - plus the band - attended a conference called Feedback in Franklin. It's an opportunity for Christian musicians to not only showcase their talents, but also attend seminar-type sessions on everything from stage presence to publicity. There were all kinds of industry people there presenting, answering questions, and judging the music showcase.
We figured - eh, a chance to play for some people, and maybe learn something new about the biz. The guy putting it on invited Curt to come, so we didn't have anything to lo$e. The seminars were really interesting, I learned a little and made some nice connections. I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but I majored in Music Business with a Public Relations minor. This weekend was a great refresher in all things music and reaffirmed my desire to work in the industry. Now if I could only find a job....
Curt rounded up the band, a couple of them came down from Indiana, and we found a new drummer here in Nashvegas. They rehearsed Thursday afternoon, everything sounded great, we packed up and headed to the first night of the conference. Erwin McManus had a lot of really great things to say, I can't wait to see what the future holds for him and his team.
Friday we had seminars with Brett Manning and Tom Jackson who are both experts in their fields. I enjoyed hearing both of them speak, but after each session I felt a bit like I was part of a live infomercial. Yeah, they run businesses, and yeah, we did buy some product, and yeah, I do love a good infomercial, but at times it felt more like a sales pitch than genuine help. Friday night Matthew Paul Turner spoke, which I really enjoyed. If you've never been to his blog, you must.
Friday night was the first half of the showcase .. loads of bands and artists played and let's just say it was a little rough. Not that they were bad, they just weren't good. I'm a pretty harsh critic when it comes to music, so I may be way off base. But I don't think I am. I should say the stand out of the night was a band called Fairgreen. They were really solid, put on a good show, and seemed like cool guys to boot.
Saturday was full full full of sessions about Twitter, blogging, social networking, publicity, radio, on and on. It was a really long day of sessions, like, too long. But really great information and I know a few people learned quite a bit. Thank goodness.
Okay, here's the excitement you've been waiting for ... or skipping to...
Saturday night was Curt's chance to perform, they were fourth in the line-up. First few bands went, all is well, our turn next, load everything onto the stage-everyone is set to go, test the mics- good, test the monitors- check, test the track- click. Click, going through the system. No backing tracks, just click. Switch the lines? No, not working, the computer's not sending out a split track.. Sound guy panics, Curt starts to panic, I feel the urge to vomit. Try a couple other hook-ups, still not working. Time is ticking (12 minute limit) so they ask the next guy in line to take the stage. Poor guy, but he did his thing and it was our turn to try again. I still feel the urge to vomit, I was so nervous.
The guys from Fairgreen had a little mixer, which was the perfect solution to the problem. Plug it all in again, test the track- success. Alright, here we go, time to really rock. Song starts, playing, singing, sounding good. Then CRASH - out of no where, the keyboard stand collapses and Curt's keyboard hits the floor. F-word. I was paralyzed in my seat. Curt's eyes all but flew out of his head. The other guys just kept going, and without missing a beat, Curt squatted down and kept playing his keyboard from the floor.
When I finally came-to and realized what happened, I ran up to the stage to help, yet upon my arrival, I found there was no way I could do any good by myself. I looked at Curt- no help, he was singing like nothing was wrong, looked at Adam (guitarist)- he was laughing at me. I had visions of me, pumped with adrenaline, lifting the keyboard myself and holding it there for the performance. The keyboard weighs about 65 lbs, I weigh about 105 lbs - it wasn't going to happen.
After what seemed like an eternity, a couple guys joined me onstage. We lifted the Motif, tried to set up the stand- wouldn't stay up. I thought we would have to hold the keyboard for the rest of the performance. Luckily someone with a clear head suggested chairs. Yes, chairs, thank goodness for quick thinking. Someone grabbed two chairs, set them on stage, and we set the keyboard on them. Much lower than where it normally sits, but gosh darn, I wasn't the one holding it up.
The entire time I was up on stage, I was in shock while still being aware that I was on stage and should probably exhibit some sort of stage presence. So yes, I bobbed my head to the beat. Still can't believe I did that. I can't wait to see the video of the whole thing happening. I'm happy someone caught it all, because words just cannot portray exactly what happened.
After I returned to my seat and finally took a breath, I realized it would be a good idea to at least video Curt playing on his chair-equipped keyboard so we had some proof that this nonsense actually happened.
So I give you: Curt playing his Motif on two chairs.
Despite the delayed start and the s#*t hitting the
fan floor, the guys won the showcase thanks to quick thinking, a great recovery, a solid performance, and the grace of God. Their prize includes a publicist, radio promotion, photo shoot, a producer for an EP, booking and management, plus maybe some other stuff I can't remember.
Curt & I have been surviving on cereal and $1 party pizzas for the last couple weeks because rent was due and Curt wasn't getting paid until Friday. Work has been slow at the restaurant, so I haven't been making enough to make much of a dent in any bills. I'm not putting all our eggs in this showcase win, but boy am I glad to have a little reassurance that maybe, just maybe, things are looking up.