Date: Sun 07 Nov, 2004 at 06:00
Greetings & Salutations!
When Ken & Julie Felix, the former managers of The Zephyr Club contacted me a while back to let me know that they were going to be taking over DV8, renovating, changing the name, and turning the troubled club into a viable contender for SLC's premiere rock venue, I thought it was a good idea. When they asked if we would play the "grand opening" of what was going to be called The Phoenix, I thought it was a great idea. We decided to film the show, get another band involved, and really turn up the hype.
Well, the best-laid plans, blah blah, biddy-blah...
Due to unexpected challenges (legal, chronological, financial, and otherwise) that gummed up the works, we ended up playing plain old DV8 on a weekend full of very tough competition, with heavy technical delays wearing us down...and the blockbuster experience that we were hoping for didn't materialize. In fact, the gig was downright dismal. The only good thing that we managed to pull from the evening (besides finally hooking up with Achilles Last Stand, hopefully laying the groundwork for future gigs together) was the professional audio/video recording, which should provide us with some quality material to share with you folks sometime in the near future.
When we first took the gig, we were also offered a chance to open for the Young Dubliners the following week, and jumped at it like a shot. I've been a fan of the Dubs for years, and the chance to get out in front of a big crowd and flex the band's muscles as an originals act was something that we hadn't done in far too long. After last week's show, however, I was suddenly not quite so eager. My spirit had been, if not broken, then severly bent by the previous experience, and I know that mine wasn't the only one. Still, we had made a committment to Ken & Julie, and knew that there was a potentially good time to be had if we approached things with the right attitude, so we decided to go through with the gig.
Boy, am I glad that we did.
It's been a while since I've had such a stress-free night at a SoN concert. We were all in a relaxed, confident, positive mood, and everything was low-maintenance and low-pressure. We did the show as a four-piece, with no extramusical concerns weighing on our minds. It was just us and the tunes, raw and rockin', belting it out to the cheap seats. Although they were clearly there for the headliner, the audience was loud and appreciative of our efforts -- especially when, inspired by some of the pre-show funk music playing on the PA, we took 'Mr Serious' into heretofore unexplored realms of jam-ville as our grand finale. Musically, it was an exquisite experience. Afterwards the compliments were plentiful, merchandise was snapped up, and the mailing list sheets filled at a surprisingly brisk pace. Many folks who had never heard of us before became fast fans, and we didn't have to play a single note of Pink Floyd to win 'em over. Good for the soul, it was...just the sort of rehabilitation that I needed, at just the right time. :)
We stuck around to watch the Dubs, of course. Though they were clearly struggling with the lowered business performance of DV8 as well (their draw wasn't nearly as large as it has been on the many occasions I've seen them play The Zephyr), they still put on a top of the line show and blew the place away. No one from SoN other than myself had ever seen them live, and all were duly impressed with the energy, presence, and musicianship that marks the Dubs' glorious style of Celtic Rock (emphasis on the "rock"). Afterwards, we got a chance to hang with the band, crew, and various other folks in the green room, which was very cool indeed.
Our next show (11/19/04 @ Liquid Joe's) will also be our last of the year, before we hunker down and begin recording our third all-original CD (a project which, after tonight's festivities, I'm more excited than ever to dive into).
See you then!