Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Serenity Gardens (11.20.17)

Small crowd, good tunes, no worries. Photo by Kat.

In as much as I'm not a huge fan of holidays in general, Thanksgiving may be my favorite one. Think about it: I like cooking, and I like eating, and I like happiness. Thanksgiving is a good excuse for all of the above. This year will be a little bittersweet, as my dad, who passed away on September 8, had been coming to my place for the event every year for over a decade. Obviously, this year will seem a little quieter without his boisterous personality involved, but I'm still doing my usual stuff to make it a fun day for myself, Christina, and my son. Everything on my traditional menu -- turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, bread rolls, and pie -- will remain.

I figured with it being the week of Thanksgiving, I'd do my bi-weekly live music show at Serenity Gardens with an autumn music theme... not necessarily songs about autumn itself, of which there are surprisingly few, but just songs with the vibe of the season. However, as happens occasionally, Second Life wasn't fully cooperating with my plans. I already knew SL was acting up based on posts I was seeing on Facebook, with a big percentage of my SL friends talking about getting unexpectedly booted from being in-world and not being able to log back in. Hey, these things happen. When I went into SL to do my show, things were rather glitchy; I had to re-log three times and once I positioned myself onstage, tried not to move.

Just think how many people missed the chance to hear me cover Mariah Carey, something that may never happen again. Still, it was fun. Photo by Kat.

But the secondary result of SL being wacky was that we simply didn't get a lot of people at the show. As a live performer, regardless of the legitimate circumstances of not pulling a big crowd, it's natural to feel a little disheartened when your audience is maybe 20% of the size you expect. However, I've been doing this for way too long to get genuinely concern about a poorly-attended show or two. There are far too many circumstances that aren't in the control of the artist to take that stuff to heart. Keep in mind, this stuff happens in real life as well. Few musicians I know haven't had a gig scheduled and then some unplanned event... a road closure, a flooded street, an electrical outage, and so on... derails the possibility of getting people there. You can't allow yourself to assume that no one likes you any time you don't have your ideal audience. It's simply not logical.

I will say that in some ways, it's too bad that we didn't get a lot of people there, because I think it was a particularly good show. My voice and guitar were both performing very well (with one hilariously notable exception, when I simply couldn't make my hands do what I wanted on Elton John's "Daniel"), and the set list came together even better than I'd hoped.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Allentown (Billy Joel)
Day After Day (Badfinger)
Carry Me Ohio (Sun Kil Moon)
After the Goldrush (Neil Young)
Sleeper in the Valley (Laura Veirs)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
*Someday (Mariah Carey)
Here I Land (Nicholas Stevenson)
Daniel (Elton John)
In My Time of Dying (Traditional)

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

Thanks to the people who did make it to the show, with special thanks to those who helped support it!
ErikKottzen Resident, Tricia Funizza, Tyche Szondi, TheaDee Resident, RoxxyyRoller Resident, Kat Claxton, my manager Maali Beck, and the great management team of Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde!

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