Thursday, August 5, 2010

Report: Zak Live on StreamJam ep. II (08.04.10)


Oh. My. God.

My son, perhaps noting the smile plastered across my face after my second live show on Facebook via StreamJam, asked me if that was one of the best shows I'd ever done. I started to explain that I've literally played thousands of gigs, and a lot of them were great in different ways. I thought for a second and said that of all the virtual/remote shows I'd ever done, this was one of my favorites. But then I realized that I really didn't need to qualify my answer: in terms of fun, my show last night, featuring my great friend Bunny Knutson, was indeed in the top echelon of live performances I've ever done in my life.

We had a terrific audience made up of people from nearly every portion of my life, including folks from Second Life, people from various Internet communities, and even old high school pals. It's a great thing about doing a show live on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Delinda Dyrssen.

Where to even begin? I guess at the beginning. As most of you who are reading this are already aware, Bunny is a guy who I've known for about 9-10 years, and is one of those people that have the rare combination of being hilariously funny, unquestionably smart, and supremely talented and creative... and yet remains a humble and sweet person. On the Zak Claxton album I released in December 2009, Bunny played drums on all songs, as well as guitar and vocals on a few tunes.

Introducing Bunny to the crowd.

Bunny arrived plenty early (beating rush hour traffic in LA isn't an option; it's a necessity), and we hung out and ran through the tunes for a few minutes. I wasn't worried about the lack of rehearsal time... Bunny is an excellent improvisational player, and there was really no need to try and perfect the performance before doing it.

Rocking the Internet on a Wednesday night.

As per my commitment to StreamJam of performing only songs which I am licensed to play (otherwise known as the original songs I've written), the set list was comprised of 100% Zak Claxton songs. I was happy to use the occasion for the debut of my recently-completed new song "Go Easy On Me". Here's what we played.

Zak Live on StreamJam Episode II Set List...
Shine (Zak Claxton)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Waiting for This (Zak Claxton)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
*Go Easy On Me (Zak Claxton)
The Sands of Redondo (Zak Claxton)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Time Never Waits for You (Zak Claxton)

*Indicates the first live performance of this song ever!

Much like my last StreamJam show, the audience was able to send questions and comments to me via a special Twitter feed, and it was great hearing from them... I spent as much time laughing with them as they did with me.

Checking messages from the crowd. And no, for the last time, I'm not playing "Freebird" tonight, sorry

The audience chats and has fun while Bunny and I rock them. Photo courtesy of Jess Smith.

While most entertainers consider it their first responsibility to make sure the audience is having fun, my shows tend to involve me having a great time, and hopefully the crowd gets in on the hilarity via proxy. As you can probably tell, there was no lack of good times last night; adding Bunny to the mix amplified the good times by exponential factors.

Kat mentioned after the show that it's going to be hard to top this one, and I agreed. But I also said that it's not really a matter of making one show better than another; it's a matter of making each show different in some way, and bringing new things to the party that will be fun and cool for the people watching. I really can't promise anything more than that, but I will agree on one thing: as I admitted to both Kat and my son, I'd be hard pressed to say that the August 4 StreamJam show wasn't one of my personal favorites. Oh, and I should mention that Bunny seemed to enjoy himself and we are indeed planning on doing a jammy duet show again sometime in the not-distant future. Stay tuned.


Delinda Dyrssen said...

That was one of the funnest online performances Ive been to.. and it was Fast Fun and Easy .. if ya know what I mean. :-) Great show Zak and Bunny Thank you.

Zak Claxton said...

Thank you Delinda... so glad you enjoyed it! And while StreamJam doesn't offer all of the user experiences you get from a live show in SL, it is definitely Fast Fun and Easy! :)