Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Islands of New England (08.08.11)

As I've mentioned here about 10 million times before, I love playing at new venues. Not necessarily new in the sense of "just opened"; I mean new in that I've never played there before. Last night was my first-ever show at The Islands of New England, and making it all the more fun is the fact that the venue is managed by a lady who I've gotten to know through Second Life and Facebook, Christine Haiku. Christine is one of those people that lights up a room with her presence, and I've always been a sucker for a gal who has charisma (as is certainly evidenced by my darling Kat).

When Christine asked me to perform at New England, I didn't think twice. I barely thought once, truth be told. I'd been to the venue to see Taunter Goodnight sing, and liked the vibe there. But moreover, I was sure that Christine could help put on a great show even if it were held in a shoebox, and my instinct turned out to be correct.

I like the way the Islands of New England venue is set up. By having a relatively narrow space for the crowd, it keeps everyone closer together and makes the place feel lively. One of the biggest design errors of many SL venues is making them too big. This one is just right. Photo by Kat.

A side note: I really prefer being scheduled so that I'm not the first artist in a series of performances. Why? It's simple: when you have people playing before you, there's already a crowd at the venue, and as an artist, I have an opportunity to get some of those folks to hang out and see what I'm all about. Also, there's that responsibility I feel for bringing people into a show, and it can be hit-or-miss depending on the day/time and place as to whether that happens successfully. I'm happy to say, though, that despite the fact that I opened the show yesterday, we ended up having a great crowd... good-sized and enthusiastic. Happy me! Oh, and an interesting coincidence that I noted during the show: the sim where the venue is located is called "Marblehead". Well, as a little kid, I actually lived in Marblehead, MA. It was my last home before moving to Southern California at age 6 (where I've remained ever since).

Christine Haiku! Photo by Kat.

I've been making a purposeful attempt to bring out some of the songs that I don't play very often. It's fun dusting them off, not just for my own desire to stay fresh, but to keep the interest of my crowd ignited as well. Since it was my first time playing at New England, and since Christine Haiku has been such a cool person to me, I decided to commemorate the occasion with a special tune for her; I took "Cheer Up Murray" by Flight of the Conchords and modified it for Ms. Haiku, and opened the show with it.

What a pretty place to play live music and enjoy the company of friends. Photo by Kat.

The Islands of New England set list...
*Cheer Up Christine (Flight of the Conchords/Zak Claxton)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
I've Been Waiting for You (Neil Young)
Save It for Later (English Beat)
†Sour Girl (Stone Temple Pilots)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Six Underground (Sneaker Pimps)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
Nobody Home (Pink Floyd)
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
Rock and Roll Woman (Buffalo Springfield)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
A Day in the Life (Beatles)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
†I've only played "Sour Girl" three times since December 2008. It's a rare one.

Huge thanks to everyone who came to my show at TIONE, especially those who helped support it!
Triana Caldera, Sommer Shepherd, Aurelie Chenaux, Alba Sonata, Diana Renoir, Sassy Nitely, Xerxes Ninetails, TheaDee, Kat Claxton, my wonderful manager Maali Beck, and a terrific venue manager if there ever was one, Christine Haiku!

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