The second part of the doubleheader was in Nutley, NJ, again, an hour and a half drive from my gig in Bucks Co. (It seems all of our gigs in NJ are an hour and a half away) This was a double so its tough to keep up the energy and focus for the two plus hours at the school. The drive, the set up and the breakdown really stretch these gigs.
It was an ‘old school’ school in a neighborhood and the auditorium was old and small. The sound was great though the stage was small.
The first show was for the k – 3rd grades and they were really, really noisy. The age level and the time of the year make for some chaotic situations like this one. I’m fairly good at bringing the kids’ attention back, but often it’s after having them get up and dance. It’s a bronco ride, for sure, but the teachers and kids have a good time and some of the educational stuff sinks in.
The second show was for the 4th – 6th graders and it was superb. They really got into the music, were respectful during spoken parts, and the band played well. It was one of the best groups we had played for and I made sure that I let them know.
It was a long drive back in afternoon traffic at the end of a long day. Three shows, 4 hours of travel, but I like having done the work.