yeah, well, you come up with a better title.

band warz quarter finals last night. i don’t think people really see or understand all the little things going on with a band prior to a performance, so I’ll outline my night.

  • 6:45 – dead tired from work and full stomach from supper. I could use a nap. I instead opt for a big doubledouble from Timmy’s. I don’t drink it yet.
  • 7:00 – get to our lead singer’s house, I’ve got a sore shoulder so I need to work the kinks out of it. practice basic drum rudiments. right left right right, left right left left. then basic and more complex beats, moving from slow to fast slowly and then doing shifting gears exercises (really fast to really slow beats and everything in between)
  • 7:30 – slug back the entire (now lukewarm) XL coffee I bought at Tim Horton’s.
  • 7:45 – sit back and relax, read a metal magazine, do a few little shoulder circles to keep the joints warm and moving. smoke a couple cigarette butts from the ashtray cuz mark and his smokes aren’t here yet.
  • 8:15 – rest of the band arrives. pack up guitars, sticks, pedals, and band in two cars and head to the venue.
  • 8:35 – find a spot for the gear and for ourselves. it’s going to be a full house tonight, it’s already quite packed as it is.
  • 8:45 – smoke break. breathe in, breathe out.
  • 9:00 – listen to them announce the band lineup – we’re 5th of 10 bands. I’ve got at least an hour and a half to go before we’re up. deep breaths.
  • 9:15 – first band is done soundchecking and is starting the first notes of their first song. they aren’t that good. we make fun of them.
  • 9:20 – lead guitarist of undisclosed band walks by with waist length hair, leather jacket, and leather pants. make fun of said guitarist for being encino man from the 80’s.
  • 9:35 – band still sucks. smoke break.
  • 9:50 – adjust bass drum pedals to achieve maximum thumpage. hands are shaky, the caffeine from the coffee earlier is peaking.
  • 10:00 – nerves are starting to fire. time for bathroom break. could be nerves or actual need to go, not sure.
  • 10:20 – the second band sucked, the third band is certainly going to be sucking. did we really need quarter finals for this? there goes the tiny blond waitress selling shooters in a tight little green dress. watch dan’s eyes follow waitress. hear dan go ‘Holy Fuck!’
  • 10:30 – guitars are out of bags, in stands, or are getting tuned up. I need a cigarette. someone decides we need to add a cover song to our set for shits and giggles.we all agree on the cover. fists are pumped in the air to a chorus of ‘WOO-HOO!’
  • 10:45 – smoke break. i confess to mark that i can’t remember how the first song in our set goes. mark tries to hum the rhythm to me, and hums the wrong song. he gets a little worried, too. i need to urinate. heck, i need to do #2.
  • 10:55 – nah, underpants are just bunchy and i’m nervous. i get away with #1. still unsure about #2 when i leave men’s room.
  • 10:58 – someone says something about boobies.
  • 11:00 – watch punk band with keyboard player. (what?) many things are discussed, jesse and dan and mark are pumping their fists in the air, punctuating the top of the stroke with a hearty "woo-hoo"! I have tunnel vision and tunnel brain. I’m thinking about getting on stage already. I couldn’t tell you what was said because it went in my left ear, and out the right as fast as they got in my head.
  • 11:10 – hear the punk band announce "This is our last song". Start stretches and warmup with quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes on my knee. ouch. i don’t need to hit that hard.
  • 11:15, clap for fourth band. wait at stage side with gear for them to get the fuck off the stage. let me up there!
  • 11:16, I’m behind the drumset, fixing and re-aligning, and affixing my pedal to the bass drum hoop. the stage lights are hot, damn. where’s my other earplug!? what ear do i put one plug into? who’s guitar rig is going to be the loudest? jesse and dan are on my right, so that’s twice the power, right? (which ear is your worst damaged one was the question i should’ve asked.) plug one ear up.
  • 11:17 – only the best for the roxy band warz. drumset is vintage yamahaaaaaahahaha, i can’t get the fucking rack toms adjusted right, and can’t lock em down. they wobble with every hit. at least the bass drum is whipping away. look over, there’s howard stern the sound guy, who’s been demoted for tonight, he’s pointing to the crash cymbal. the stand is held together with what looks to have been an entire roll of duct tape. given my experiences with the sound system at the roxy, i’m not going to bother saying anything about not hearing anything out of the monitor to the left of me.
  • 11:19 – we’re announced, we introduce ourselves to the bar. everything beyond that is a blur. i pick out small things from shows, but rarely can put together a whole five minutes in memory.
    • there’s tickletruck right up at stage front. good guys, them are. they keep asking to hear end of heartache, though. we’re not going to be playing it, guys.
    • remember a couple wrong notes. it’s funny how awful it sounds when you put the right note and someone playing the wrong note together.
    • i pick out how the fender deluxe jesse has to play through makes his guitar sound like a big wet ass.
    • i remember when my left bass drum pedal slid sideways under my highat stand somehow – I don’t even want to know how my left foot kept kicking.
    • i realized during our last song that my right stick was splitting, and  consciously picked a time in the song to discard it and grab a new one – i had missed 2 quarter note hits due to that.
    • i remember smashing the china cymbal and stand off the riser, and watching howard stern react with what must have been either spidey sense or survival instinct (as it was going to land on his face) grab it, and replace it.

5 songs and 20 minutes, all gone in a blink.

  • 11:45 – i was pretty darn happy by the time i got off stage. i played a good show, but i think i was the exception. everyone was grumbling about monitor mixes and how they couldn’t hear anything but the hot wet ass sounds. tickle trunk’s drummer comes up and congratulates me and tells me it was a wicked set. heppcat tells me i need to come and ‘teach’ his drummer how to doublebass like that. he says we are definately super tight.
  • 12:10 – smoke break, load equipment, good night sweetheart. my left ear is going to be ringing tommorow.

and so it is.

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