Date: Sun 25 Jun, 2006 at 01:52
Greetings & Salutations!
I can't remember the last time I recapped a show this soon afterwards, but it was a semi-primetime affair and I actually got home at a reasonable hour, so here goes...
I said it could go either way, and I certainly had my share of fears and doubts, but fortunately there was much more good than bad. The crowd was amazing, stretching all the way back to the edge of the grass and across the balcony that bordered the amphitheater. They were solidly into the show from the first note, and stuck with us right to the end. For sheer size, this concert was rivaled only by the Darrington gig from a couple of years ago, and it was almost certainly the biggest show we will ever play here in Utah.
It's kind of hard to tell how things went soncially, since it became obvious over time that what we were hearing on stage didn't bear much resemblance to the house mix, but the folks who spoke to me afterwards all had good things to say about John Reese's work behind the console. I have no idea if we managed to record it; a few people had mentioned the possibility, but I never heard anything definitive. It felt pretty tight up there, though. For being placed so far apart on stage, everyone seemed to be pretty well conncected, which was a relief. Tempos dragged a bit on occasion...or maybe it just felt that way, since I was paranoid about going over our stop time.
Which we did, of course; we were supposed to be finished at 10:45 but we kept it going until 11:00. I made the decision very early on that we would be playing our whole set, regardless of time factors -- that they would have to pull the plug and physically drag us away before we would stop prematurely. And pull the plug they did, leaving us with no monitors and reduced lighting for the last couple of songs. Losing our monitors pushed the stage mix over the line to deeply weird, as we really couldn't hear the mains at all. The reaction from the audience told us that everything was fine, but I'm sure our dynamics changed just a little considering the altered sonic landscape. No regrets, though. After all we went through to put this show together and the added delays this evening that were not of the band's making, there was no bloody way we were just gonna let it go and stop when they told us. Hell, I was tempted to add a second encore just to make the point. I know the crowd would have been all for it.
On a personal level, I felt good -- relieved, really -- about the way things went. Only a couple of the many potential disasters befell us, and we seemed to navigate our way through them fairly smoothly. I did succumb to the temptations of big-crowd grandstanding on a few occasions, but I managed to keep it under control for the most part, and not let it affect my playing. My voice, which has been blinking on and off in a disturbingly arbitrary manner over the past several days, stayed strong throughout. I was really worried earlier in the evening about being able to sing "Wish You Were Here," but it came off without a hitch, and as always the crowd sang it louder than me anyway.
I know that Fozz had an even more stressful time than I did, for various reasons, but I think he would agree with me that considering what we were up against, we did indeed pull a rabbit out of a hat. Much of the credit for that success should go to our esteemed tech director himself, who over the past couple of weeks took control of coordinating the efforts of the band, the UAF, Oasis Stagewerks and others, and proved to be a more than able field captain when necessary. Good job, man.
And so the excitement and anxiety ends. Since we probably won't be playing at home again for a while, I'm glad to see that we have not been forgotten by the local audience. This will be a nice memory to take with us as we venture into some new territory on the road next month.