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Date: Thu 24 Apr, 2003 at 09:12
Headline: Bare Essentials & Blown Circuits

"This [rock'n'roll] is way too important to take seriously"
-David Lee Roth

"Nah, my shit don't fog, dude"
-Greg Thomas, whom I can only assume was speaking metaphorically

So there I was, driving up to Park City on the evening of March 27. The band had a gig at Cisero's, and we were running behind schedule. Again.

Tim and I had arrived late at Litovsky's place to help load his gear. Eric himself didn't show up until a good 30 minutes after we did, because he was still recovering from lasik surgery from the day before and had fallen asleep at his parents' house. None of the equipment was packed up, so that took extra time. We had considered skipping the second load-out at Greg's place and just opting to meet him at the club, but there were one or two heavy cases that he was going to need help with, so we were stuck with yet another pit stop on the way to our destination.

Because Eric still couldn't see very well in the dark (how was he planning to read the charts on his laptop during the gig, I couldn't help wondering -- extra large font?) he needed someone to pilot his minivan-ish vehicle up to the club. Since there turned out to be room for everyone's gear, we decided to ride up together, but because we hadn't had a trio of passengers in mind while packing, there was only enough room for Tim to squeeze into the back, which left me in the driver's seat. I am not necessarily a world-class driver under the best conditions, and I still have some residual bad weather baggage from my days as a USPS letter carrier, so when a snowstorm hit just as we entered the canyon, I was....fine.

Strangely, not the delays, nor the danger, nor the time inexorably ticking away affected me in the least. No panic, no stress. Obviously, something had to be wrong -- getting uptight about this sort of thing normally comes as naturally as breathing. It's just what I do. But somehow, this time it just wasn't happening.

I had first experienced this phenomenon of actually being relaxed leading up to a gig a couple of weeks earlier at Phat Tire. We were late for that one, too. We had never played with Greg before, and we had only a week or so to put together a full night's worth of material. I should have been freaking out, but I wasn't. At the time I chalked it up to the fact that it was, despite the aforementioned challenges, a low-maintenance gig. No screen, no pyro, no theatrics, and only four musicians to co-ordinate. No big deal, compared to some of the extravaganzas we've put on in the past. Still, for me, it was a night of downright eeire calm.

In a way, the Cisero's gig was like that too; just the band and the tunes, with no extraneous special effects to worry about. But considering everything leading up to it I should have been much more stressed than I was, which was not at all. This odd sensation was only exacerbated by the fact that load-in was a breeze, soundcheck went off without a hitch, we were treated extremely well by the powers that be, and everything ran so smoothly that we had a good 35 minutes before showtime to kick back and chill. It was like Musician Bizarro World. I can't help wondering, however, how much my own attitude affected the proceedings, and whether I just might be experiencing some sort of paradigm shift in the way I view my job. It's possible that with some of the major challenges that I had to deal with at a certain gig earlier this year, I may have simply blown the stress circuit in my brain. Overloaded it. Made it incapable of firing off unless confronted with the gravest of circumstances. That would be :-)

As for the Cisero's show itself, I for one had a blast. As I said, it was very low-maintenance; probably the most stripped-down FloydShow we've played since Flyin Zion, and it was good to know that although the extra bells & whistles have become an important part of our presentation, they have not become crutches for us -- we can still capture and hold an audiences attention without them. John Flanders absolutely rocked on sax, and I can't wait to play with him again. Another John deserving props was our sound engineer, who was a treat to work with and damned good at his job. The rest of the folks at Cisero's were friendly, accomodating and professional too. I'm looking forward to heading back there again sometime soon.

I have uploaded an audio clip from this show to Latest Audio on the main page. It was the first time we'd tried 'Don't Leave Me Now', and for the life of me I can't think of why we waited so long to throw it into the set, especially with Mr Meldrum's uncanny ability to match Waters at his most strained and psychotic. It's a direct-off-the-board recording so it's a bit keyboard-heavy, but then again, so is the song, so it all works out. :-)

I'll be back soon with an update more concerned with the present, but I hope you enjoyed this odd little trip into a random pocket of the recent past.

bye for now,