This evening set with RockRoots was in a pavilion at Mayfair with scattered seating again, with most folks sitting ‘miles’ away in bench seating, with a large dance floor between. Hard to work my whammy from far away, but… same as yesterday.
We had 1.5 hour set, which is much longer than our 50 min. assembly set that is real comfortable, controlled and professional. We rarely do this kind of gig, especially with a more ‘mature’ audience, so me and the guys have to festival gigs where we have to think on our feet and with our ears. And, damn it, we do. Old school.
The group before us was the Easton School of Rock, a teaching and playing group of kids that are getting real stage time and experience. They were good, and the philosophy’s sound, but it’s loud. Actually, a couple of the kids saw us when we played Easton Middle School this spring. …had to autograph a guitar. They also had parents to carry their gear to the car.
For our set, we agreed to stretch our ‘demo’ out to relatively full songs and it was fun: room for Nick’s bass, Kevin’s percussion, Donnie’s leads, and some room for me, too. I had to play to the audience, again, in my blurred visual space. A bunch of surprises from all of us. for me, we threw in Pay Bo Diddley and I got to hear us play I Heard It Through the Grapevine unrehearsed and with a deep groove. Yo!
We actually did the show in 75 minutes and it was a good show, in spite of some mental fumbling on my part, and we played well and I remain proud of the evening. And, as I drove back to my apartment on a quiet Sunday night on the SouthSide, I reflect on the friends I have with me on stage, these RockRoots guys (Don Mayer, Nick Franclik and Kevin Soffera), who show up for an assembly at a school in Some Where , NJ at 6:30 am on a Tuesday, and can cut it loose at on a festival stage Memorial Day Sunday night.
We play in front of thousands and thousands of kids every year, and we are making a difference… and I think the kids and the teachers are getting our message.