My family band had a gig last Friday, January 25th. We played at Sully’s, a very nice place where they gave us a big room for a big crowd. The owner even let me set up the gear around noon, when we were scheduled to play at 8 pm. Like I said: a very nice place.
Yet I was nervous. I didn’t sleep well the night before. I tossed and turned and couldn’t punch a hole through the night to slip into the slumber.
Here is what was bothering me: so many things could go wrong!
We have, in the comfort of our home, a sweet rehearsal spot. It is not luxurious by any means, but everything works, and works very well. Should something break down, or a problem arise, the solution is in the storage space, or in time, meaning I can interrupt the rehearsal and go to the store to replace whatever piece has just crapped out on us.
Can’t do that at the gig. No back up, no fail safe.
If the guitar decide to have a serious malfunction, we have to do the set without it. No, we do not have 2 guitars. Or 2 basses. Besides, repairing electric things on the fly is not my specialty. I’m a drummer, remember. So, if the PA goes missing in action, we sing a Capella. No other way.
What was truly impressive, in my insomnia, was the list building in my mind. Because every time we do a gig, it’s like moving a third of the house to another location. A million different parts that can break. And everyone will assume I can fix it. My children are still children, you see. My wife is extremely helpful, she helped me shlepp the gear with me in single Fahrenheit digit temperature, but she’s not a technician. None of us are. We are left to chance. We plug and we turn it on. That’s what we do. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, we cry!
You know what, though? There was one thing I was not worried about: my children. I knew that their performance, their presence, their energy, their support, their love and their all encompassing goodness will be there. Not worried at all about them. I knew that no matter what, they would come through. I just hoped I would come through as the sound engineer and roadie of the band.
Still, we had a great show. The best we ever did. The crowd was really into it. They clapped and cheered and hollered and sang along. We even got an encore! It was truly magical! The kids were so proud. What a treat to be able to share those moments with them.
And everything worked! Nothing let us down. That’s 6 hours of sleepless worries wasted.