Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whisky A Go Go in Second Life (11.13.12)

When you think about all the factors that need to align to turn a good musical performance into a great one, it's a wonder that anyone ever manages to ever ascend to levels beyond mediocrity. Check this out...

1. The artist has to feel good. That means several things: a good mental outlook, a good physical condition, and a high level of confidence in the material he or she will be performing (not to mention an assumed level of proficiency as a performer).

2. The right material for the random crowd. You have no idea who is going to come to your show, especially in SL where folks might be stopping in to hear you play with no conception of what you're all about. What kind of music are they into? Will they be in the mood for whatever it is you're going to play that night? Who the hell knows?

3. The right crowd to inspire the artist. Some people play better with small and intimate audiences. Others are the polar opposite; they can only put on their best show when they have as many eyeballs on them as possible.

4. Especially in SL, you can also add to that a lack of distractions from technical difficulties. Is the stream working? Are people able to login/teleport to your show? If one person can't hear you, can the others?

It's all just the tip of the iceberg if you want to delve deeply into the details. You have so many factors that combine intangibles relating to the performer, the place, the audience, the time of the show, the freaking weather... I mean, it's ridiculous. So, having everything come together at any particular show is beyond unlikely.

However, for whatever reason, those factors all seemed to be in my favor last night at the Whisky a Go Go in Second Life. I pulled out a particularly mellow set list which seemed to work well (and I don't know why). We got a really nice sized crowd there of cool and funny people (and I don't know why). And my voice and guitar just seemed to be working for me pretty effortlessly (and I don't know why). See, unlike most other areas of life, you can do nothing different in the preparation or promotion for a music performance, and get completely different results. And no... I don't know why, and perhaps it's best not to know why. I like the feeling of pleasant surprise when it all seems to come together. I'm as shocked as anyone... perhaps more so.

Whisky Set List...
**On the Way Home (Neil Young)
**After the Goldrush (Neil Young)
**Expecting to Fly (Neil Young)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Daniel (Elton John)
†Where Everybody Knows Your Name - Theme from "Cheers" (Gary Portnoy)
Beyond the Blue (Martina McBride)
Black Peter (Grateful Dead)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
†River (Joni Mitchell)
Any Major Dude (Steely Dan)
Shine (Zak Claxton)

**I opened my show with three Neil tunes to help commemorate NY's 67th birthday the day before.

†I've only done these songs once before, so those are extreme rarities in the Zak Catalog.

Big thanks to all who helped support my show! And thanks for helping to make it a great one!
Gratephul, Triana Caldera, Zanne Boucher, Shugar Rebane, Rusty Seisenbacher, Kat Claxton, Spica Schwamm, Diana Renoir, Cicadetta Stillwater, TheaDee, my manager Maali Beck, Whisky host/DJ Dmitri Polonsky, and Whisky owner Cameron Trenchcoat!

1 comment:

Alan Hargreaves said...

I love it when a set comes together.