It was a classic Tale of the Tape, and helped me avoid another meltdown. Another one of those pay-per-play Battle of the Band events that I knew wasn't going to get us anywhere. I did it for the video, and thankfully so.
Local Phenomenon Productions set up this farce at the Aftershock in Shawnee KS. I knew this wasn't going to work well when I drove out last week and found no spots in town to put out flyers. When I got to the show, the screamo bands were mustering up and cornball picker Dave Wendler was setting up alongside me bragging that he was the only one on the bill getting paid. I got set up, did my sound check, and waited for the sound man to arrive a half hour late.
Johnny Mac canceled out, which left me alone with Mr. (Drum) Machine. Those things are great for practice but will twist your shorts onstage, largely because they're so hard to hear under combat conditions unless you've got them on a separate amp (mea culpa). I plowed through the metal set with difficulty but hit my stride with the thrash songs. Unfortunately the locals didn't seem to care for "Obamanation" and were set to cut me loose. I asked for the final five minutes of my half-hour set...big mistake. "Back From Iraq" fell apart like a house of cards.
The screamo bands were real supportive and even came by the truck as I was packing it in. I wasn't too good with the outcome so I decided to review the video when I got home. Surprise, surprise. My mic work was on the money and (for a change) I was delighted by the vox. The guitar was a tad fuzzy but Mr. Machine took a licking too. It was basically a shoot between me and Machine, and it cost me on "Iraq". The rest of the show, though...well, I ended up with a pretty good demo.
Unfortunately these 'battles' are about a half-step up from the open mics around town. The only real advantage is that it's a semi-legit gig which lets you use the club's name for your promos, plus you have more say as to volume control and set length. Other than that, if the owner or booker's not on site, you're a snowball in hell.
Funny thing, the whole experience kinda got me back on track. I'm wanting to get back out there and show people what we REALLY got. Our next one's set for the Buffalo Bar on 6/10.
Let the audience beware!!!