It's so hard to say what changes the dynamic of each live music show in Second Life. I've never been a huge touring musician in the fleshy world, so I can only imagine that there are similar idiosyncrasies when a band plays Vancouver, then Seattle, then Portland, and so on. You might do the same material in each town with the same degree of proficiency, but the differences in the venue and the crowd make the vibe very unique at each respective show.
So, I suppose the same goes for SL. I don't know that my performance last night at the Islands of New England was particularly great, but when I finished my last note, it felt like one of the coolest shows I'd done in awhile. What made it that way? Not a huge crowd, but a good crowd. I've written about this phenomenon a number of times, but to reiterate: a group of people who are active amongst each other and engaging toward me inspires me to play better. No offense to any of those artists who prefer their crowd to be silent in rapt wonder and awe, but the more I see my crowd enjoying themselves and having a great time, the better I feel, and the more confidently and uninhibitedly I perform.
I always enjoy when I arrive at a venue during a particular season, and they've decked the place out to capture the vibe. New England's "winter wonderland" look was great. Photo and top photo by Kat.
Playing music: good. Playing music in front of people: better. Playing music in front of friends: the best. Photo by Kat.
One thing that helped make the show cool before I'd even picked up my guitar is the fact that entertainment events at the Islands of New England are managed by a woman who I really like and whose company I enjoy, Christine Haiku. When I feel like a personal friend of the folks who run a venue, there's one extra layer of pressure removed. I have nothing to prove to Christine; she's come to dozens of my shows all over the grid, and seems to enjoy herself. I like her cheery attitude and humor, and she's been beyond supportive over the several years that we've known each other.
Secondly, a good chunk of the crowd was made up of other people who I consider friends, and even those who I didn't know really seemed to dig both the serious and silly songs that I'd pulled out for the occasion.
IONE Set List...
Call Me Al (Paul Simon)
Afternoon Delight (Starland Vocal Band)
Shine (Zak Claxton)
Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond)
Man on the Moon (R.E.M.)
The Other Way (Zak Claxton)
Old Man (Neil Young)
People Are Strange (The Doors)
Blue Skies (Irving Berlin)
River (Joni Mitchell)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
Behind Blue Eyes (The Who)
Many thanks to my good pals and new friends who came to my show at the Islands of New England (especially the following who helped support the show). You all rock.
Spirit Cleanslate, Triana Caldera, Leanna Chaffe, Straton Tigerpaw, TheaDee, Chili Lykin, Sesh Kamachi, Kat Claxton, Kunshi, Sassy Nitely, my manager Maali Beck, and IONE hostess with the mostess, Christine Haiku!