I haven't written a gig diary in a long, long time. I guess, since this was our Tenth Anniversary Special and since we used to always all write gig dairies for each of our shows, it might be fitting for me to try again.
I arrived with Lesa and our friend Debbie at The Bookmill at 5:30. It was drizzling slightly, but the air felt clean and crisp. I don't know why that seems to be the case there. Is it that different than the air in my tiny city of Northampton? Does it have something to do with the rushing river and waterfall behind the building? Maybe it's just my imagination.
Since this was Record Store Day, we decided to poke into Turn It Up! Inside, we found Ken and Mary. I sat in the listening station's chair while the others flipped through records and CDs. A lot of my record store experience involves me sitting or standing and waiting for others to flip through the merchandise. I went often into Boston shops with my brothers and I enjoyed looking at album covers but I never bought anything. I pretty much would only look at the Yes and Pink Floyd sections. Anyway, after the shopping, we stepped into the warm Lady Killigrew and got ourselves some dinner.
I found a big table inside where we could all fit and we were soon joined by Max and family and then Jason Bourgeois and Ryan Quinn who had been so kind as to lend us their P.A. for the show. They didn't just lend it to us, they trekked it to Montague and loaded it in and out. Troopers.
Dinner was nice and relaxed. I really enjoy arriving at gigs with plenty of time to just relax beforehand instead of having to just rush around and suddenly start performing.
At 7:00 we were able to set up and when I went up to the performance space I found Brian and Beth loading in the drums. Soon Tony arrived and we all set up the stage as some audience members started trickling in.
Max and staff members from The Bookmill brought out and set up as many folding chairs as possible to go along with the sofas and big comfy chairs. By the time our opener, Andrew Emmons, started to play, the place was at standing-room only. Andrew put on a great 30 minute set of very smartly written songs.
School for the Dead started to play at about 8:45 and we didn't stop until 10:20 or so. The room was very warm and we couldn't open the windows because they were still sealed up for the winter. We made our way through seventeen of our songs with a little break in the middle consisting of Tony playing a solo "Record Store Girl" and then the band (without me) playing the Monkees' "Sunny Girlfriend", with Brian on lead vocals.
Throughout the set, I demanded words from the audience for our MadLib and we had also passed out Instant Surveys. We collected the Instant Surveys about four songs from the end of the show. The questions were "Ten years ago I ________________________" and "Ten years from now I ___________________________". We read them off during the breakdown or "Soup of the Moment", like you do, and they turned out to be the best set of responses that we had ever gotten. It was a success. Maybe all the books surrounding the room made people extra creative.
At the end of our show (note: we did not finish with Omnivore), the band supplied some slick back-ground music and I read the MadLib. Another success. The crowd populated the thing with great words. I hope to have video of it shortly for you to see.
What else noteworthy happened? We debuted "The Rumor Mill" and it went quite well. I don't know what else. Writing these things is hard, I see now why I stopped.
Thank you very much to everyone who came to the show and for those of you who picked up our albums. I had an excellent time, I hope you did as well. Thank you.