Boy Scout Fail aka Gig Recap

The band played out last night. It was our fourth show at Racks Bar in Plaistow, NH. Overall it was a decent show. The two day long snow storm kept a lot of people away so the turnout was lower than we’ve gotten at previous shows. Also, I think the success of the first three shows has left me a little over confident.

Mike the bass player owns one bass guitar. I own a cheap bass too and I’ve brought it to all of our shows so Mike would have a back up. I forgot to bring it last night. That was dumb of me. That was one thing that I look back on and wish I could do over.

There was one other thing that I felt was a bad move done in the spirit of over confidence. Picks. At every gig I’ve ever done in my entire life I have had a pick in my right hand and a bunch of spare picks in my pocket. In some cases there were picks taped to my microphone stand too.

Last night during one of the first couple of songs it occurred to me that I didn’t have any spare picks on me. I had a box full of them in one of my guitar cases, but nothing up on stage with me. I told myself that before the second set started I would fill up my pocket with spares.

A couple of songs into the second set it dawned on my that I never grabbed that box of picks. I started getting nervous. What the hell am I going to do if I drop this pick and can’t find it? There was another pick with my second guitar, I could grab that one if I needed to. Still, that would suck. I told myself I’d get that box out of my Les Paul case before the third set.

Fast forward to the third set. Did I get those picks out of the case? Of course not. Sure enough, we were playing one song that has a great solo section where I always try to come as close as physically possible to shredding like a demon. As the moment approached, I stepped on the pedal I was using as a volume boost for solos and…

Whoosh, out of my hand went the pick. I knew it was going to happen eventually, and there it was. Fortunately it landed right at my feet and didn’t get lost, but I had to finger pick through the rest of the song. I lost my chance to shred like a madman and then I had to get down on my knees and pick the stupid thing up. I should have just been able to pull another pick out of my pocket and keep going like nothing happened.

I did screw up a lot last night. There were some small miscues all through the first two sets. The third set… I train-wrecked a little. The other guys held it together but I was off the rails once or twice. I think I know what happened to me. We had a lot of snow overnight Friday and I was planning on getting up pretty early to dig out so that we could drive up to see my step daughter perform with the all-state choir in Concord, NH at 1:30. The stress of it all must have popped me awake at about 3:30 am. I couldn’t get back to sleep no matter what I did. So when the third set came around I was at about the 20 hour mark. I didn’t feel tired. There is too much adrenaline pumping for that, but I think I was really mentally fatigued. Things that I usually do without a second thought suddenly escaped me. Guitar parts that I usually nail became challenging, or I just flat out forgot them. It pissed me off, but I took out my frustration on a couple of solos and it got better. Still, stupid snow storm.

We booked two more shows for later in the year so we have three booked now. Every show we’ve done and every one we have booked has been at the same bar. That’s not really a good sign, but I am too old to care about such things. My days of seeing music as a career are so far gone that I can barely remember when it was an actual thing.

The next show is in early June. I promise I will have spare picks at all times.

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