Yeah, you're not seeing double. I did two benefit events for Relay for Life in less than 24 hours. Yes, go ahead and saint me now, if you want. But as I've mentioned many times to my crowds at RFL events, I actually have completely selfish reasons for doing these charitable events.
1. If I help raise money that goes to cancer research, it just might help when I (or a close friend or relative) eventually end up getting it.
2. I feel good about myself knowing that I'm helping other people. I like feeling good.
3. I almost inevitably end up getting seen by people who might never have caught my show otherwise, and some of those people become long-term fans of mine.
So, note to all you musicians out there: THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE TO DOING LEGITIMATE CHARITY SHOWS! Yes, I screamed that in all caps. It's important to realize. And one more point, as long as I have my soapbox out... under no circumstances should any musician ask to be compensated in ANY way for getting involved in charity events. No factors such as "But we'll bring in a big crowd!" matter. Anyone who attempts this is lower than pond scum in my book, and should be avoided at all costs. Just say "no" to greedy motherfuckers.
All that having been said, after a pretty amazing show on Saturday night for the Synthesis event with Guerilla Burlesque, I wasn't sure what to expect on Sunday's RFL event for the long-running Home & Garden Expo. However, I'd done many, many Relay shows with Joonie Jatho organizing the event, and they all seem to be well run. What I didn't know until about halfway through my show was that I was the closing act for the entire multi-day event! My ego floweth over! I spent a good amount of time congratulating myself as the "headliner" for the entire H&G Expo, which was only half in jest.
Why am I not standing on the stage? Well, I was having some lag issues, and ended up crossing back and forth across the stage for the first three minutes of my show, then falling off, and finally deciding that my show would be good enough from where I landed. Photo and top photo by Kat.
Here I am, the headliner of the whole H&G Expo event. Yes, it's true. I rule. Photo by Kat.
For being a casual little Sunday evening event with little fanfare, we had a fun and enthusiastic audience. Photo and top photo by Kat.
We somehow pulled together a really good-sized crowd, and from what I hear, folks were being generous with their contributions toward the cause, which is all that really matters. Secondarily, I seem to be playing and singing well recently, perhaps due to a) an abundance of recent shows, and b) at the same time, working on tracks for my band They Stole My Crayon. Between the two, I've had a guitar in my hand and a mic in front of my mouth pretty much every day, and that, too, makes me a happy Zak.
Home & Garden Expo RFL Set List...
Save It For Later (English Beat)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Comes a Time (Neil Young)
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Carey (Joni Mitchell)
Fade Away (Zak Claxton)
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
Blue Skies (Irving Berlin)
She's Always a Woman (Billy Joel)
After the Gold Rush (Neil Young)
Shine (Zak Claxton)
Call Me Al (Paul Simon)
Many thanks to everyone who helped make this year's RFL events a big success with their generosity and kindness!