Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Veterans Isle/Homes For Our Troops 01.29.17

So, I can play guitar and sing for an hour and help an injured vet get a home? Sign me up.

Did you miss me? I'm back.

Each January, my life gets turned upside down via my industry's largest trade show. In my non-virtual life, I do marketing for the musical instrument, professional audio, and related industries, and January is when the NAMM Show happens. I actually start my preparing for the show in November or earlier, making the holiday season and start of each year a whirlwind of business activity, leaving very little time for actual music making or performances of my own. As a result, each year I need to block out weeks of my Second Life music calendar with the words "ZAK UNAVAILABLE", and in fact, about the earliest I can hope to get back into performing in SL is about a week after the show ends.

Coincidentally, that's when this month's benefit for Homes For Our Troops had been set up by my fellow musician and friend Frets Nirvana, held at Veterans Isle in Second Life. The NAMM Show wrapped up on January 22; his benefit, which happens on the last Sunday of each month, was on the 29th. Since I managed to not get sick at the show and my voice was reasonably healed after four days of yelling in a convention center, I was glad to help out, and at the same time perform my first Second Life event of 2017.

I've played many charitable veterans events in SL. As I've explained before, as a pacifist and a person with a progressive political outlook, it truly bothers me that these people coming back from military engagements with severe injuries are so often neglected by the government who sent them there in the first place. Frankly, as I mention at the shows, the act of being compassionate toward others is not tied to any political affiliation. It's an area where we should all agree. These people need our help due to the egregious negligence and lack of funding by the government. Should it be that way? No, of course not. But it is, and the least I can do is spend an hour playing guitar and singing, if it helps them even a little bit.

We got a nice crowd of very generous people and raised a good amount for HFOT. Mission accomplished.

Having not played live for about six weeks, it took me a little longer than usual to get warmed up and ready to rock, but all things considered, the show went pretty damn well. I pulled out a couple of tunes that I've done very rarely in my SL shows, and we had a good number of my Zakster fans who probably enjoyed the variety.

HFOT Set List
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Is She Really Going Out With Him? (Joe Jackson)
Falling Down
 (Zak Claxton)
Better Man (Pearl Jam)
†Sunny Came Home (Shawn Colvin)
Comes a Time (Neil Young)
If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow)
It’s Good to be King (Tom Petty)
*Car on a Hill (Joni Mitchell)
Again (They Stole My Crayon)
Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello)
America (Simon & Garfunkel)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
†My last performance of "Sunny Came Home" was all the way back on July 17, 2012.

Huge thanks to everyone who came out for the show and helped this great cause. You're all awesome.

No comments: