That is why I do this.
Strange Land had a show last Friday at a place that shall remain nameless here. I am the diplomat of the band after all, not that you can't all go to the web and find out where it was. It was out first show at this venue and our first within about 70 miles of this place. I thought we made this clear to the venue. We're interested in expanding our territory and reaching new people. Details were sketchy about the show until a few days before. Then, it looked like we were on a bill with five other bands. The whole show started at 6, we were told to be there no later than 10. Ok... looks like we're last. No biggie, with 5 other bands there should be a decent number of people hanging around.
Ah, but it's never that easy. From 6-10 it was an all ages show. We were indeed last and the band that was supposed to be before us didn't show. I thought, fine, we'll go on around 10:30 then. Promptly at 10 all the under 21 people were booted out. The band in stage at the time finished their set with a pretty good crowd still there. But for some reason the venue made us wait until 11 to start. In that time almost everyone left while the cover band got started upstairs (don't even get me started on cover bands. I'll lose my diplomatic immunity). Since the band we we're booked with didn't show none of their people were there. So most of the night we had five people. We managed to snag a few others in passing from upstairs. Add to that, the sound guy was pulling double duty due to an emergency. He was running up and down the stairs doing sound on both stages. He loved us though. Sound guys seem to like us because we don't sound like every other band they have to sit through. At one point Brad's vocal mic behind the drum kit was feeding back and he just unplugged it. We didn't have Brad singing for most of the night. Such is the nature of live shows. Shit goes wrong and you either roll with it or you collapse.
All that said, this was one of the best shows we've had in a while. We played well. We had fun on stage. And the crowd that was there was engaged. I have so much fun when I can interact with people from the stage. We cracked jokes. I got everyone to introduce themselves. We laughed. I may take my music seriously, but I don't take myself seriously. It wasn't my show. It wasn't Strange Land's show. It was our show, band and audience together.
I've played a lot of shows for many different kinds of crowds. I'll take small and enthusiastic over large and indifferent any day. I'm they guy in the band who isn't gung ho to play out. I prefer writing and recording. But for shows like this I will always come out and I will enjoy playing on stage. All I need to do to be successful is reach one person. To make one person laugh. To know that one person understands what I'm trying to do. For one person to feel like I understand them because of a song we wrote. We got lucky, we reached more than one last week. And that is why I do this.
Special thanks to Progulites Iceman and Falcon for coming out. It's cool to meet hardcore prog fans and to put faces and real names to the chat board nicknames.