Last night's show at Hard Rock Live was just fantastic! The crowds rolled in slowly and we ended up going on later than we expected, having to cut two songs out of the set, but we still had a blast. Vision TV was out in full force, and I mean FULL force. With big t.v. production trucks backed up to the dock and three cameras on stage with another stationary one somewhere, they weren't hurting for coverage, that's for sure. It was quite a sight to see: the normally huge Hard Rock Live stage looking crowded with each band sharing space with six camera crew guys (two for each camera) zipping around. During our set, we had an additional two people on stage, photographer Laurel Edwards and videographer John Fernandes. With Matt Agnesi also recording sound off to the side of the stage, we were totally covered in the media department!
All the bands were excellent - The S.E.A.D. put on a rousing opening, laying down some crazy grooves and warming the crowd up (although some reports put them at ten minutes over their alloted time.) The Goldminers were great, as usual, and snackdaddy brought some spectacle with them as they all dressed up in jammies and had a model on-stage in a theatrical tableau. What was really mind-blowing was the band had asked us to be out in front by the fourth song of their set. Having no idea what to expect, lead singer Ed Altom prefaced the tune by explaining why some bands played covers. Then they began jamming out a song that was vaguely familiar and then suddenly became hugely familiar as he began to sing "I am a black indian..."
What a cool, freakin' trip! It was as high a compliment that Mohave's ever been paid, to have a band actually learn one of your songs and then rock it out. Of course, we love snackdaddy anyway - and they continue to grow and expand and plus their material, but it was just incredibly killer to see and hear their take on "Black Indian", because they didn't merely cover it - they re-invented it. I had the biggest smile on my face - I totally love these guys!
After finding out that we had to cut our set short, I was prepared to axe "Black Indian" because snackdaddy had done such a masterful job with it, but J.D. said, "nah - we gotta play that, besides, I want to play my fifteen minute drum solo", so we cut "Ring-A-Ding" and "Georgia Peach" (and still managed to play a 44-minute set). It felt really good, we opened with "He's Gonna Blow", and by this time, the crowd had begun to thin out, it had gotten pretty late. But a core group of our friends and fans hung out, along with some folks who I don't think had ever seen us before - they were dancing and swaying and made a whole lotta noise, which just made the whole set sparkle. The guys from Vision TV were highly complimentary as was Christian, the owner of Dreamscape Records, who came out with some people to see the show. They'd like us to work with them - which is something we'll all discuss this week.
Particularly satisfying to me was meeting up with some folks from the Everything Dulcimer site - John and Yoko, Ken (KWL) and his co-worker Mike all came out - John and Yoko had seen us before, and I've known Ken from the board, he actually pointed me towards a case for Halcyon when I first got her in April. I had wanted to jam a little with him, as he was down here on business, but got too busy during the week. So, during a break between bands, I brought out two dulcimers and we went looking for a quiet place to play. Yeah RIGHT - at the Hard Rock? Well, we did find a place, in a broom closet near the offices, but we were sort of in the way of employees trying to get in there and do stuff. Finally, one of the managers poked his head in and said, "what are you guys doing?" I explained that we were just looking for a quiet place to play some music since I couldn't take them backstage. He returned shortly with backstage wristbands for the whole group, which was just simply the NICEST thing ever (they didn't have to do that.) So, after the Goldminers' set, I took them all downstairs to the Mohave dressing room - tuned up Angelique for Ken to play, and he blessed us all with some beautiful tunes from memory. After giving them a little tour down there, we went back up to stage level where we watched snackdaddy from the wings for a little bit, and then I had to start getting ready for our set. But it was nice to have some time to share with them, I don't get to hang out with dulcimerists every often! John also bought me a beer and Ken gave me a super-cool Mel-Bay dulcimer book of solos - so it was just all about the love! The group really seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully we can do it again sometime soon.
All in all - just an incredible evening, and it makes me happy when others are happy. There was a whole lot of happiness in stock last night and it seemed that no-one went home empty-handed. For our first show back from summer break, this was most definitely a success!