Thursday, March 04, 2010

Worst Gigs Ever...

I'll be honest with you...any time I feel drawn to write about songwriting or gigging or worship leading, there's a part of me that's very discouraging.

"Why would YOU talk about this? You're no expert about this stuff!"

I'm not a fan of that voice, but sometimes he's pretty loud inside my head. Most of the time, however, I recognize this as the voice of the Enemy and I can remember who I am in Christ and what I'm called to do, which tends to shut him up pretty fast.

That being said, I have played many varied "gigs." Some have been great. Some have not. Here is one that was...not.
Kristen and I were newly married. We were leading worship in our church, but I didn't really want to "pursue" worship. No, I had decided that I was going to write creative, catchy, poetic, folk-pop songs that would turn the music industry on its ear.

You can guess how that panned out.

But at the time, that was my focus. So when I got a call from a Christian bookstore owner for some live music in his store, I said yes. (Of course, I said 'yes' to every gig back then. I don't do that anymore, that's for sure.)

He called and said he was hosting a CD listening party. A new CD was coming out and he wanted to host an event in the store. He'd play snippets from the record, give away door prizes and have live music. And he wanted me for the live music.

I said yes. No question. Now, of course, I can think of three pretty important questions.

  1. Who is the artist being featured?
  2. Can it please pay a little?
  3. Can you provide the sound system?
I didn't ask those questions. And so I lugged my own sound system to a free gig for the CD release of the O.C. Supertones. (A very popular Christian 'ska' band back in the day.) And you know what? My acoustic/mandolin/djembe folk explorations didn't really match too well with the O.C. Supertones. Shocking, right?

For some reason, I had someone there (probably my mother) to take pictures of us as we played. Ever the marketing guy, I just knew these pictures would be useful to my career. I still have the pictures and when I look at them, I see myself drenched in sweat, playing some seven minute folk opus to a room full of skaters who weren't even sure if Christian ska was any good, much less the red faced dude with sweat in his eyes.

Definitely one of the...

Worst Gigs Ever.