The day of the show had arrived! I rehearsed myself one more time, especially giving attention to the pedal effects for each song, varied with particular parts within a song itself. I had symbols of each pedal 'command' on my SET SHEET, that had the song order.
I had my makeup on; hair fixed; outfit ready to go; instruments ready to load into my Subaru Forester...
'Load In' was at 4:30. That means the musicians can load all their gear onto the stage at that time. I had my Les Paul, two acoustic Guilds and mandolin; along with patch chords, guitar stands, effects, CD's, Square (for the music sales) , email sign up lists, etc.
The stage was hustling and bustling with the musicians loading in...drummer, bass, lead guitar, singers, and the sound man dancing around all of us. I let him know that I needed a mic for my amp; two D/I's (direct inputs) for my acoustic guitar and mandolin; three microphone for me, harmonist, and bass player; a mic for the lead guitarist's amp, etc. The drummer had a surprise drama, where the high hat bolt had vanished on the club 'set'. Yes, the drummer brings the basics; yet most popular clubs have some basic expected hardware. This piece was essential. He flew off to the nearest music store to get the essential gear, which was a lot closer than his house.
Meanwhile the videographer showed up and needed an extension chord for filming. I happened to have an extra one in my bag.
Behind the scenes, during sound check, the sound guy and I cannot determine why I cannot get a signal out from one of my acoustic guitars. ( I had brought two for the reason that one was tuned to DADGAD, and would save time in between songs, from having to tune from standard tuning). Although the battery on the guitar was new, something weird wasn't working. Neither, I, the sound man, nor the lead guitarist (who also happened to be Martina McBride's band leader/lead guitarist), could figure out this problem. So I instructed the soundman to rig up another mic for the acoustic guitar. Little things like this happen sometimes on sound checks, beyond the knowledge of the audience. It's up to the musicians to 'play it off' like, it was nothing. It worked out live visually, yet it did put a kink in the video taping, which had to be held back.
I had planned for the show to follow the order of the CD exactly, including the tempo of the songs, EXACTLY! The killer drummer, Dann Sherrill, already had the tempos cued up for each song, as I had instructed him to do.
Each musician already had the song order, yet I had extra charts just in case. I also gave the sound man a copy of the song order as well.
Once the sound check was good to go, we had a little bit of time to blow before the show. Folks were still coming in. I stepped outside for a few minutes, in the thick humid air of mid May while my makeup and hair wilted. Lol. (It was strangely too hot and humid for that month)
At 6:00 PM, I gave the thumbs up to the sound man. He had all prepped while us musicians took our positions. The management team announced the gig, and we were off!
The show flew by quickly, and I could see faintly from the bright lights in my eyes, faces in the crowd smiling, and people singing along on some songs. Beside my glasses fogging up from the heat and humidity in the air, I was having blast. The show ended, with the audience clapping for another song. We happily played an up tempo fun & feisty song about the hot summer in the South. It was perfect for the weather of that day. LOL.
After the show, I walked through the club, thanking as many folks as I could, and then headed back to the merch table, where I signed some CD's and thanked more folks. The hardest part of a show is feeling that you haven't had the opportunity to sincerely thank all the folks enough, including the audience, musicians, staff, etc.
It was then time to quickly help with the break down off all my instruments, and gadgets; oversee that the musicians, sound man and staff were all paid.
Overall, it was a great CD/Album release show. The biggest thanks I receive, is from those in the audience who come to me smiling ear to ear, thanking me for the upliftment they felt as a result of the music, songs, and energy from the show. When that happens, I know I have done my job well! To me, that is what drives and inspires me the most: to empower and give the gift of music. I am a conduit from That which Gifts me with this music thang. It is I who am truly Grateful to Spirit.