When I get ready to play a show in Second Life, I have a simple routine. An hour before I'm scheduled to start, I stop whatever I'm doing, and do some light vocal warm-up exercises. I wash my hands and check to see if my nails are long enough to impede my playing, clipping as required. I then pick up my guitar, tune it, and run through a short section of a few the songs I've chosen to play.
At 20 minutes before the hour, I get into SL and head to the venue. After saying hello to the host and getting my avatar ready to perform, I still need to set up my real-life music stand and microphones, and get my mixer and computer ready to stream audio to the show. I also highly recommend using the bathroom at this point as opposed to holding your pee while trying to sing for an hour. When I initially arrive (assuming there's no one playing before me), it's most common that no one is there but the venue staff... who else comes to music shows 20 minutes early in SL? So there's this little moment of mystery while I finish my setup: who's going to show up? Will many of my hardcore "Zakster" fans be able to make it? Will I get some new people who haven't heard me before? Will it be a big crowd? A small one? At least in my case, you never really know for sure until the moment you begin the show.
I need to remind myself before my show that every time I play at Key West, it ends up being a good time for all. Photo by Kat.
I mentioned this to the folks at my show last night at Key West. As I came back after getting set up, near the start of the hour, there was already a good-sized crowd there, making me happy. I told them quite honestly, "I always assume that no one is going to come, and I'm pleasantly surprised when I walk in and see people there for my show." Even after more than five years comprising hundreds and hundreds of performances, I never, ever assume that folks are going to come see me. It keeps me humble, and keeps me working hard to do good shows for those who do come out.
Speaking of which, the show last night went very well. My minor self-criticism is that my voice at times was a bit rough around the edges from having done two shows the day before, but that just made me sound a little more rocking. Also, as I've done lately with all of these shows, I've been pulling out some of the older tunes that I did regularly back in 2007/2008, and finding them fun to do again.
Key West Set List...
Man on the Moon (R.E.M.)
Save It For Later (English Beat)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
Fade Away (Zak Claxton)
Mother (Pink Floyd)
In My Time of Dying (Traditional)
After the Goldrush (Neil Young)
The Other Way (Zak Claxton)
Save Me (Aimee Mann)
I've Been Waiting for You (Neil Young)
I Like You (Zak Claxton)
Just Like This Train (Joni Mitchell)
Big thanks to every single person who came out to my show at Key West, especially those who helped support it!
Triana Caldera, TheDove Rhode, Tjorben McKeenan, Alexis Fairlady, AMFORTE Clarity, Alltra Violet, Richy Nervous, Rosinante Vinson, Christine Haiku, TheaDee, TrillianTraal, Spiral Silverstar, and most of all, Key West owner (and true music lover) Liz Harley!