I split at 7:30 am for a split double header for RockRoots in a K – 3 school outside of Princeton, NJ. Split meaning a 10 am and a 2 pm show, so there’s a huge break in between shows, and that break is an energy-sapper. Also, there’s the fact that each audience was about 400 kids plus teachers. And, the population was mostly Indian, Chinese and Pakistan, a set of kids and family backgrounds not familiar with American Rock and Roll. And it was the first assembly of the year for these young kids who haven’t learned how to be an audience.
The first show went well, with us throwing in Monster Mash at the end, by request of the PTA lady. The kids were a little noisy, but our technique is to plow through the show, engage as best we can and get them up dancing at the end. The teachers and the PTA lady were very pleased, as is always the case.
In between sets, I got time to finally change strings on my guitar and mandolin (yay!), cop a very nice lunch from the friendly staff and chat with a substitute teacher who happened to be a very seasoned wind player. A fellow musician, and one of great experience in jazz and ensemble playing, but finding some new work as a teacher. Good conversation.
The second set started at 2 pm, just in time to fight off my ‘nap’ instincts, and we played well for another 400 kids. I packed up and fought Jersey afternoon traffic to get back to Bethlehem by 5 pm. A long day and I feel whipped. But it was a good day’s work churning up young folk’s minds and bodies.