That Vagabond Saints Society: Talking Heads show was Friday. Man! Anyone who has listened to the song “Once in a Lifetime” and thought, well that’s kind of nutty and yet it’s “simple.” Well, I’m here to tell you… it certainly is not simple. I challenge anyone to get up on stage, with a live band, without David Byrne’s guidance (singing along with the recording) and not just get lost in that song. And by “get lost” I don’t mean you’re so into it you lose yourself in it. I mean, you will get lost in the timing for that tune. That creates chaos and a train wreck. That was soundcheck on Friday night at The Garage (the Official Music Sponsor of The Less Desirables).
I didn’t get to have rehearsal for this show. Both rehearsals were at times where I was unable to get away. One was my best friend’s wedding and the other was on a Wednesday night and I can’t get away from The Less Desirables. So, soundcheck was my rehearsal. I’ll admit it, I created a clustermess of crap during soundcheck. It stunk up the joint, to be sure. I’ve never seen Doug Davis look panicked when it comes to me and my performance, until this. He was calm but he has a certain tone he takes when he’s concerned. I assured him I would handle it.
So, as soon as I stepped off the soundcheck stage, I went out to my car and listened to that song for a straight 40 minutes, non-stop. I figured out my problem, mistakes and everything I was doing wrong. Still, tension in my stomach was quite high. I had even told The BCPF that I was nervous and rarely do I ever get nervous going on stage.
In the opening set, I did “Stay Up Late” with no problem. Everyone, the band, the crowd, etc. seemed to be into that performance, so that was good. After that first set, I went back to the car and listened, once more through, to get my bearings. Next during the St0p Making Sense set, I did “Burning Down the House” and that was easier (other than the words making no danged sense) and I seemed to nail that one. I paced more than usual waiting for my next tune. I went into the “green room” and sat for a bit, talking to a few of the other performers who were going over their lyrics, then pacing more. It was time for me to go up and hit it again.
My tedious tearing apart of the song must have helped because I was able to do it, if I say so, danged near perfectly and everyone was in sync. Karon Click had told me that she was flying with me. If I derailed she was going down with me. She didn’t have to worry about it because I concentrated like no other song ever for VSS. I was able to put some theatrics in there as well without losing my spot. I even gave Karon a kiss on my way off the stage. I was that happy to get through it. Plus, I got a pretty loud pop at the end, so I think it went splendidly.
The real heroes here, though, had nothing to do with me. I was backed by a world-class band of professionals that knew the material front-to-back. They’re always spot-on and none of the singers ever have to worry about them being off. It’s up to us singers to get it right. The band always kills it.
I don’t usually break the fourth wall when it comes to this but it was so unusual a show for me and I was not so much proud as relieved to have made it out alive, that I felt I needed to talk about it. It was nerve-wracking, I must say. When I got back to where The BCPF was after that last tune, I was excited and did a double handed/armed “yesssssss!” That took a toll on me, I can’t lie.
But, the party isn’t over. I have two more shows with VSS to do these songs and I will not mess them up. I got this.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Water dissolving. Water removing. There is water at the bottom of the ocean. Under water, carry the water. But remove the water, from the bottom of the ocean.” – “Once in a Lifetime” (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth)