how cold does it need to be in here

We had a show Saturday and I’m afraid my body is still thawing out.  I’ve played some cold shows before, but most of them were as a member of the Cornell Big Red Marching band, not as the member of a rock ‘n roll band.  Although, I seem to recall the first gig for one of the non guitar groups I was in, either the Moonmen or the Druthers as rather chilly.  We were asked to play a benefit at a location a bit north of the center of Rochester, NY.  It was to be an outdoor show, in November (okay, not every organizer is a genius right?) albeit early in the month.  It was raining and I think I may have spotted snow.  We musicians are strange people, I’ll admit that.  We have quirks, odd habits, strange ways of putting an outfit together, and the hair always has issues (if you have any).  When we made the decision to play anyway, we played our entire set.  Did we have to?  No.  We were really only playing to the volunteers (who were inside another tent) and two chickens and a duck (in cages in our tent, maybe the charity was for farmers or something).  That isn’t the best part though, the best part is the next group to go on was getting mad at us for stepping into their time slot.  Really.  So that they could perform for us?  I told you we were strange.

Back to Saturday’s show though, and the cold.  Look, I know it was cold outside okay?  But we played indoors.  And anyone who knows me understands me to be a rather warm person.  By that I mean I can sweat after carrying in a few pieces of gear.  Don’t be grossed out, first of all, I am very clean.  Second, I wear deodrant and have great circulation.  Armed with that knowledge, when I tell you I kept my coat on not only for load in, but while setting up off stage AND loading on stage only taking it off long enough to play for 45 minutes, then put it back on to load off all without breaking a sweat, you know that it was damn cold up there.  I never even warmed up.  This is a bad thing since the people who know these things will tell you sweating releases toxins in your system and by keeping them in, sure enough I was sick on Sunday. 

At this point, you may say to yourself, where does that highway go to.  Or you may ask yourself, where are you taking me.  I’m taking you right here.  Maybe we’re too old for this.  Maybe playing these shows with kids in their 20’s really isn’t what we should be doing.  Perhaps we should be at nursing homes leading sing alongs to “there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea” or playing “there’s a hole in my bucket” for children.  I think the parents of the kids that played before us and after us liked us though.  The security guard thought we were band transportation (although he may have been joking).  All these doubts go through your mind when you’re standing and watching the other bands, then something strange happens.  You take the stage and people don’t leave, they stay right up close to the stage.  They nod their heads and move to your music and even seem to recognize a cover tune that was written before their parents (and in some cases, mine) met.  After the show, a kid said, “you know, I like that you old guys come out and do this, it’s really cool.  plus, we can hear you.”  Um, thanks.  Maybe we should have learned one of those Nirvana tunes, that’s what’s popular now right?

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