Last night I played a gig with the old band. First one I’ve done since 2009. I haven’t played any drums since one fusion gig in 2010 and a jazz gig I did in about 2012.
I had some worries about the gig of course, like whether or not I would be able to play. This is a high energy band with lots of fast, loud, punk songs. Would my chops be close to good enough? Fortunately over the years I developed some techniques for bashing and creating a lot of sound and volume without expending tons of energy. It was the only way to last hours and hours with a high intensity. Only on a couple of tunes did I find my left hand lead on the HH (I play left handed HH on a right handed kit) on a couple of fast songs wasn’t up to par. I was certainly not at full chops but was able to do the gig with no issues and the audience didn’t know the difference. I knew it on a few fills that I used to be able to pull off but couldn’t last night. Still, not a beat was dropped. The band rocked. I lasted until the 3rd set before I dropped a stick.
It was a blast to rock again with my old pals. In many ways it was like I never left. After one song the bass player turned to me and said, “that was the tightest that song has ever been!” Well, I’m not so sure about that but I was focusing on nailing the parts more than I might normally.
After all these DECADES some things remain the same with my old band. The guitar player is as funny as ever, works a crowd like no other, and he’s a hell of a player. In true fashion his cables were a rats nest and he didn’t bother tuning until the 3rd set. “I might as well tune this fucker once tonight…” Naturally a couple of tunes later he broke a string. LOL.
The bass player was solid as always. We’ve always locked in.
The bar was nice and one of the best parts was the relatively new no-smoking law. I finished the gig without smelling like an ashtray. There was a good crowd, but they just watched the band, sort of like deer in the headlights. No dancing. I understand that’s how shows are now. The millennials apparently like to just watch the band and shoot video on their smartphones.
Some funny parts about my kit: I remember now why I put the snare strainer lever on the side, away from my hands. I whacked it with my hand and simultaneously hurt myself while turning the snares off. I also laughed at my rig to get this funky pedal setup. I have a wood shim in there to simulate the rim if a drum (picture below). Yeah, it’s 12 ply maple.