Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Islands of New England (09.16.15)

I'm baaaaaaack. Photo by Triana Caldera.

A number of interesting things happen when you take a full month (or more) off performing live music in SL.

First, you kind of forget how to do it. Not how to perform music, of course; if that's part of who you are, you can do it without even trying. No, I mean the actual act of getting ready and doing the show properly. Where do these cables go? Are my microphone levels the way I usually set them? How do I launch my stream? Did I send out invites to the right people? That kind of thing. It's amazing how quickly those details start to fade, even from a relatively short hiatus.

The second thing, in my previous experiences, is that SL audiences have short memories. As far as the SL music scene is concerned, absence makes the heart grow... absent. That's why I truly was not expecting a large crowd to show up last night at The Islands of New England, one of my favorite SL venues that I've played many times over the years. I was fine with that; it's up to me to be committed to performing on a regular basis, and any reader of this blog knows that my limited time for musical endeavors has been 100% focused toward wrapping up the album of my band They Stole My Crayon. So, my expectations weren't really high in terms of the crowd size, though I did plan on enjoying myself (because otherwise, what's the point?).

The first batch of people starts flowing in. Photo by Triana Caldera.

Enjoying watching the people watching me. Photo by Triana Caldera.

When I played my first song, my prediction seemed to be accurate. I'm not kidding; there were three people there when I strummed my first chord. One was my lovely manager Maali Beck, and another was the equally lovely event manager of TIONE, Christine Haiku. But then, as has happened so many times before in the nearly nine years that I've rocked Second Life, people started showing up. First another three. Then a batch of five. By my third or fourth tune, it was a packed house, and I felt the same level of surprise and gratitude as I've always felt whenever people take time out of whatever else they could have been doing to hear me perform live music.

That's what it's all about. No, not the size of a crowd, but the fact that anyone at all finds enjoyment and fulfillment of some kind from experiencing live music in the SL environment. And honestly, whether it's 10 people or 100 people who made the decision to come out to my show, I'm always appreciative, and I always put in the same effort to my performance regardless.

They seem to be having fun. I know I was. Photo by Triana Caldera.

Just me. Photo by Triana Caldera.

TIONE Set List...
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Pretty Pimpin (Kurt Vile)
America (Simon and Garfunkel)
Bag of Nothing (They Stole My Crayon)
California (Joni Mitchell)
*Underwater Underground (They Stole My Crayon)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Space Oddity (David Bowie)
After the Gold Rush (Neil Young)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Low Key (Tweedy)
Improv Outro Tune (Zak Claxton)

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

Huge thanks to all who came out to The Islands of New England and made my show all the more fun via your presence. Special thanks to those who helped support the show!
Parker Static, Diana Renoir, Alexis Fairlady, TheaDee Resident, RansomTalmidge Resident, Sesh Kamachi, Triana Caldera, Richy Nervous, my manager Maali Beck, and TIONE's most awesome person Christine Haiku!

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