Sunday, November 23, 2008

Outside gig in November?

Well, I was hired to piano for a charity event at the Moraine Country Club. I was scheduled to play from 6-8 inside for a dinner with a seven piece combo (piano, bass, drums, A-sax, T-Sax, Trombone and trumpet). Then I was to move the electric piano to an outside tent to play with the Hauer 18 piece big band until 11:30. Since I was to play for 51/2 hours, I decided to take my best keyboard and was glad that I did. The outside temperature was in the teens! The club had a few tall patio heaters, but they were placed near the dance floor. The stage was freezing and there was a strong cold breeze that kept blowing the music off my music stand. The trumpeter had a few extra clothespins for me to use to secure the music. This is the first time I ever played the piano with driving gloves, earmuffs, and a winter coat! The band sounded great and the crowd loved it! I will remember next time to wear several layers as the year before I had a patio heater next to me and I was hot! I will also remember to layer at inside rehearsals in the winter months as the last UD Big Band rehearsal I had a heavy rugby shirt on and the room was in the 80s.

The next morning, I played with the UD big band at a TWIGS christmas affair. My amp blew a speaker the previous Thursday, and the pianist said that she would bring an amp for me Saturday. I left rehearsal Thursday and drove directly to the Hauer music store and my friend Michael Hauer fixed it in five minutes. I was charged $10. What a great place! Anyway, I left my amp and a 30 foot extension cord  in the car overnight Friday so it went to the gig Saturday morning. It was a good thing that I did, because the amp the pianist brought for me was smaller than a toaster and the nearest outlet was 20 feet away! There was no way a bass plugged into that tiny amp would cut through an 18 piece big band. I ran to the car and saved the gig with my newly repaired amp. The lesson here is to take everything you could ever need to make the gig successful! 

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