Friday, February 28, 2014

Crystal Gardens City (02.27.14)

Every so often, I still get a random person or two asking, "What are these music shows you do that look like they're in a video game?" Fortunately, I have a fast and easy answer: Since 2006, I perform live music for people around the world via the Internet using virtual world technology like Second Life. It's just like playing live on the radio, except people can also see an avatar of myself as I perform, and I can see the listeners' avatars as they chat, dance, and have fun.

Simple enough, huh?

As to the reason why I do this, there's also a simple answer: I'm a performing musician whose life doesn't allow me to dedicate enough time and effort to do live shows in the flesh, or travel around on tour. So, with Second Life, I can perform often, and still maintain my responsibilities as a pretty typical businessperson, father, and all the other stuff I am.

Again, pretty easy to get. Last night's show at Crystal Gardens City was a particularly good one. I never know exactly why some shows are better than others. It's some insane combination of factors that include my mood, how well I'm playing guitar and singing that day, the size of the crowd, who is performing before me or after me, the level of interactivity of the people at the show, and many tiny details like how new my guitar strings are, whether my mix sounds good in my headphones, and all that stuff. For whatever reason, it all came together last night. I particularly enjoyed once again being sandwiched between two really high-quality performers; Mark Allan Jensen had the slot before me, and FrankLee Anatra played after me. I think it's a good matchup of musical styles and skills.

Yes, I fell off the stage again, and did my first two songs while standing in the crowd. Here, Kat comes over to keep me company while I play on the ground. Photo and top photo by Kat.

Rockin' da City. Photo by Kat.

Crystal Gardens City set list...
Pigs On The Wing -- Parts I & II (Pink Floyd)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Alabama (Neil Young)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
*Never Run Away (Kurt Vile)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Lost Cause (Beck)
Go Easy On Me (Zak Claxton)
Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)
Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel)
Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Big thanks to everyone who came out to the show, especially the following who helped support it!
bblbabe, Peg Wylder, Beliria Lumley, Christine Haiku, Gretchen Capalini, Harry Wheeler, snake Marais, Sesh Kamachi, Aurelie Chenaux, Allegra Genira, Rina Miles, Kat Claxton, MAJJackSlade, my great manager Maali Beck, and Crystal Gardens owners Sandi and Mikal Beaumont!

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