Templemore is back, and I loved being up on that magical stage once again. Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.
It wasn't very long ago, maybe a month or two ago, that I noticed some cryptic photos posted on the Facebook page of my friend Luis Gonzales (aka Luis Lockjaw in Second Life). I didn't want to get my hopes up, but it seemed that he was doing a rebuild of his famous Templemore sim, an environment and live music venue that has been one of my personal favorites in all of SL for many years.
Templemore has opened and closed a few times, and I've never pressed Luis for the reasons why. I've gotten the idea that he's run into mental and emotional burnout at times. I also know Luis' real-life work keeps him extraordinarily busy, and the time and effort he puts into the place can probably be overwhelming. I will say -- as I've noted many times in this blog -- that his artistry as a designer of virtual environments is right there at the top, placing him among the best at this unique art form.
Anyway, as Luis continued posting pics, I was excited that Templemore was seemingly headed for another reboot. I wasn't even thinking about the possibility of performing there; I was just stoked that it was coming back. Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I glanced at my live show calendar that's maintained by my manager Maali Beck, and there, on Friday November 16, was a listing that said "Lutz City of Templemore Grand Opening". I understood right away that the new Templemore was a dedication to Garrett Lutz, a friend who passed away from ALS in August of 2017 -- I wrote about it at the time. At that moment, I knew I had to plan something special for this show.
I think two things happened when planning for this show. First was the selection of my set list. Garrett had been literally the only person in SL who seemed to be aware of Sun Kil Moon, an indie band I loved and covered occasionally. I purposely did a mini-set list of Sun Kil Moon songs just for Garrett, which -- at the opening night of a sim dedicated to his memory -- seemed to be entirely appropriate. Second was the posting of the artist lineup for the night; in addition to me, there was Anidia Huet, Gravey Jones, and Sassy Nitely (who, with the onset of a bout of pneumonia which I'm happy to say she seems to be recovering from, was replaced by the also-excellent Toxie Darkmatter). All of these people are super talented in their own unique ways, and being on a bill with them was inspiring for me to make sure I did as good a show as I'm capable of doing.
One other note... while Templemore is always a feast for the eyes, it's also a beast of a sim with tons of detailed textures, and I probably should have dialed back my own graphics settings before doing the show. I managed to not crash during my performance, which is good, but just getting my ass out to the stage was a nearly impossible task. I will tell you, it's totally worthwhile for the splendor and beauty of Templemore's design. I just had a couple of freak-out moments before my show when my streaming software was like, "Hmm, your computer seems pretty busy right now, so I'll just take about ten minutes to launch while the seconds are ticking down to the start of your show."
Lutz City of Templemore set list...
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
The Last Time I Saw Richard (Joni Mitchell)
Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
Carry Me Ohio (Sun Kil Moon)
Half Moon Bay (Sun Kil Moon)
So. Central Rain (R.E.M.)
If I Had a Tail (Queens of the Stone Age)
The Waiting Boy (Zak Claxton)
One of These Things First (Nick Drake)
*Don’t Let It Pass (Junip)
Bull Black Nova (Wilco)
*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
Huge thanks to every person who came to the opening of Lutz City of Templemore last night, with special thanks to the generous folks who supported my show!
GraveyJones Resident, bblbabe Resident, Luis Lockjaw, Lunette Kyomoon, Asimia Heron, JimmySkat Canucci, Gideon McMillan, Lyxz Delicioso, J453A13x Resident, Tyche Szondi, Alex Zelin, Aurelie Chenaux, BrynnLynn Resident, my awesome manager Maali Beck, Templemore hostess Bee Blackrain, and the astoundingly talented dude who makes Templemore happen, Luis Lockjaw!