Second Life has been of paramount importance to the fact that tens of thousands of people around the world have heard my music. And yes, that's Oblee in a purple ball gown. Don't judge. Photo by Thea Dee.
The best analogy I can give to musicians and other people who haven't experienced performing at one of the SLxB events is to imagine yourself as a can of peas on a shelf in a grocery store. Then suddenly, someone grabs you and puts you in a cart. Then you get plopped on a checkout conveyer and rung up by someone else. Then you get stuck in a bag, brought somewhere else, and loaded into a cabinet until eventually you get pulled out and cooked and eaten.
Perhaps I should start over. The folks who run these events have it down to a science, even though it still feels like barely-controlled chaos. As a performer, the organizers tell you to be in-world at a certain time before your scheduled show. They then teleport you to some hidden place somewhere on the grid, where you do a soundcheck to make sure your audio stream and other gear are working as expected. Once that is ascertained and confirmed, you get TP'ed by another person to a backstage green room, where you can rez any stuff you may have for instant appearance on the stage area when it's your time to play. Speaking of time, they have yet another person who counts down the minutes and then seconds in your IMs until the start of your show. It's a little on the overwhelming side... not in a bad way, but kind of like being Julia Roberts returning to the boutique in Pretty Woman and having like 10 salespeople waiting on her at once. Most of us are used to doing all this on our own, so it makes me giggle a bit to see all the fuss. The organizers undoubtedly deal with a wide range of artists at a multi-day event like this, and perhaps not everyone is so low-maintenance as the Zak Man... I didn't even rez a tip jar, if that tells you anything.
In any case, I was happy to be asked back to perform at Second Life's "Music Fest" portion of SL15B. I did my first SLxB event ten years ago in 2008, did several more of those, and then in 2015 I auditioned for the first official Music Fest, and I've performed at three of the four now-annual events. The sim builds for the stage areas are always awesome in their gargantuan detail, and it's a good opportunity for me to expose my music and performance style to new folks who wouldn't ordinarily come to a Zak Show. Xiola Linden, the Second Life community relations manager, is super nice and always seems grateful to have the participation of the artists and organizers and builders coming together to make these events fun and exciting.
As I mentioned during my set, I'll be happy to come play again anytime I get the call from my SL friends. Photo by Thea Dee.
Second Life Music Fest at SL15B set list...
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
Blew the Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Cat’s in the Cradle (Harry Chapin)
So. Central Rain (R.E.M.)
Pretty Pimpin’ (Kurt Vile)
America (Simon & Garfunkel)
I Am a Child (Neil Young)
Save It For Later (English Beat)
Redemption Song (Bob Marley)
*SL15B Improv (Zak Claxton)
*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
Big thanks to all who came out and enjoyed the show, with special thanks to the SL15B organizers and Xiola Linden for being awesome!