Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whisky A Go Go in SL (07.24.12)

For being a generally optimistic guy about most things on this little planet of ours, I sure tend to go negative when it comes to predicting how my Second Life live music shows will turn out. It's not that I don't think I'm a good performer; I will gladly tell you or anyone who asks that I am pretty confident about my ability to sing, play instruments, and be entertaining for a crowd. Rather, it's the nuts-and-bolts aspect of how SL works. Very few artists have a fan base large enough to have shows on multiple consecutive days and pull in a decent-sized crowd to each event. And, at a time like 6PM where there may be fifty or more live music events happening simultaneously in SL, it's a realistic thought that it might be difficult to pull in a bunch of people.

So, having played rather unexpectedly the day before at Molaskey's Pub, I told my manager Maali Beck that I was fairly certain we'd be "playing to the staff", as we RL musicians refer to a show where the only people present are the bartender, waiters and bouncers (or in SL, the venue manager and hosts) at the Whisky A Go Go. However, I'd said something similar the day before, and we ended up with a really big audience.

I'm happy to report that right after the show, Maali and I had the following conversation:

[2012/07/24 19:05] Zak Claxton: Good show!
[2012/07/24 19:05] Zak Claxton: Surprisingly.
[2012/07/24 19:05] Zak Claxton: :D
[2012/07/24 19:05] maali.beck: see????
[2012/07/24 19:05] maali.beck: ya big goof
[2012/07/24 19:05] Zak Claxton: I am a big goof.

It turned out to be my highest-attended show at the Whisky so far, and making matters even more ego gratifying, I was the only act on the schedule, meaning anyone who was present was there for my show. The show itself turned out pretty cool as well; about an hour before I went on, as I put my set list together, a theme popped into my head and it actually worked out. Since it was Tuesday, I turned to the classic FM radio schtick of "Two for Tuesday", doing two songs by each artist.

Whisky Set List...
Mother's Little Helper (Rolling Stones)
The Worst (Rolling Stones)
Carey (Joni Mitchell)
Court & Spark (Joni Mitchell)
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (Beatles)
I Am the Walrus (Beatles)
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young)
Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Neil Young)
Fade Away (Zak Claxton)
The Other Way (Zak Claxton)
Man on the Moon (R.E.M.)
Radio Free Europe (R.E.M.)

Rocking my "twofers" at the Whisky. Photo by Kat.

There was another memorable moment to last night's show: for only the second time in 5-1/2 years of performing in SL, comprising hundreds and hundreds of gigs, I broke a string during my set! It wasn't a big deal, because I have my Shitar™ (the $49.99 backup acoustic guitar I can use for such needs) and switched to it for the last four songs. But -- cue Twilight Zone music here -- my friend and fellow performer Sassy Nitely (aka Barbie Horsley) had a show at the same time, and also broke a string... also for the second time ever in SL. Freakishly coincidental! But no minor thing like a guitar string was going to make last night anything other than great, which it was.

Big thanks to all who came to the Whisky, including the following who supported my show!
Triana Caldera, Diana Renoir, Bindi Byron, Christine Haiku, Sesh Kamachi, Fabio Sarrasine, Kat Claxton, TheaDee, Cicadetta Stillwater, my manager Maali Beck, and Whisky host Dmitri Polonski and owner Cameron Trenchcoat!

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