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.
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.
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.
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.
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.