I just played my first solo acoustic full gig in front of live human beings since the day they put Ronald Reagan in the ground. It was, as I suspected it would be, mostly a live practice. Sunday night in Victorville at a Starbucks is not exactly the most happenin’ place in all the world. Still, it was a good way to get back into performing — low expectations; almost zero pressure.
- Bedwrinkle Dress
- On The Roof
- The Western Lands
- War House
- Burning House of Love (X Cover)
- Be (Breathing With My Heart)
- Overkill (Colin Hay / Men At Work Cover)
- Silver Age (No. 200)
- On The Fade
- Unscrew You
- Children’s Day
- Lily Hand Mantra
- Second “Sister”
- Game Of Love
- Song For Paul Westerberg
- She (Tigre Traps)
- Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen / Lloyd Cole Cover)
- Long Way Down (Michael Penn Cover)
- Elvis C.
- Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
- A Day of Mornings
- Spirit Poor
- Numbers With Wings (Bongos / Richard Barone Cover)
- Another Day
At this point, I should have had just one more song to play, but a group of guys who may or may not have just been drinking something a little less simulating than coffee came in for a little liquid balance, followed by two groups of women. So I stretched it out and played some more stuff. I was glad I brought my extra songbooks. I think this is how it went:
- Windfall (Son Volt Cover)
- Rattlesnakes (Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Cover)
- Love Goes On! (Go-Betweens Cover)
- Million Ways
- Wild Love
- L van B
The possibly-tipsy guys left to sit outside, then one of their number popped back in and stuck a dollar in the tip jar, which was nice. The second, larger group of women took business cards, each one tipped a buck, and one of them asked where and how to order CDs. I wished for my download cards, but they haven’t arrived yet… so I directed her to check out my site on the business card. If you’re reading this, kind audience member, thanks for stopping by!
There was one little bit of confusion with the staff: at the beginning of the night, one barista told me that “we’re taking care of you tonight” when I ordered a drink. I took that to mean drinks were on the house all night, so right before I left I ordered another. Turns out I was only entitled to one free drink… but they comped me on it anyway. I recognize that this is undoubtedly a Starbucks policy and not on the baristas who were working that night, and I felt bad about the misunderstanding. Still, I gotta say that that’s the definition of cheap-ass on Starbucks’ part — bad enough they don’t pay musicians at all, they can’t afford to comp more than one drink? Lame. Put it on the samples log and be done with it.
All in all, the staff was very cool. Barista Jessica even made it a point to applaud and cheer when she wasn’t busy with customers (which wasn’t very often) and that was very cool of her.
So that was that! I did have fun! I was in good voice and only screwed things up a couple of times… probably not to the extent that anyone noticed, or cared. Came away with seven bucks in tips, which doesn’t, of course, come close to compensating me for the time and energy involved. If it hadn’t been for the women at the end, I would have done much worse. I also recorded most everything through the PA direct to my H4; tomorrow I’ll see if anything came out worth saving / using.
I’m not sure I’ll do this venue again if Sunday night is the only option. Very slow. I’d much, much rather do house concerts, but doing gigs like this is one way to attract clients for those. We shall see!