Life in Gig Land: 2nd Infringement Gig–Old Editions, Amity Club & Nietzsche’s

Our Second Day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival 2016! (Saturday, July 29th)

Okay, so this was a tough one. Got up early for work, rushed home after work, prepared for three gigs—most gigs I’ve had in one day, so this is new for me. Curtis Orange, Haunted Gypsy’s latest drummer worked real hard at not spontaneously combusting. Real hard! (Check out the old Spinal Tap movie if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Guess we’re kicking the old musical butt today, aren’t we? And I know I’ll be a better person as a result of it. Yay!

Our first gig was at Old Editions bookstore on Huron Avenue in downtown Buffalo. (After the gig, I bought an old paperback called the “Book of Love” by Stendhal. Love is something I need to learn more about…) L’amour!

Restless spirit... ...Vagabond soul
Restless spirit…
…Vagabond soul

Old Editions is a large bookstore with two levels. As with most Infringement venues, the owner was very supportive of undiscovered talent in the WNY area. We got a pretty good sound in their spacious café area and had an enthusiastic audience of book-music lovers. Well-read music fans, one might say! An intellectual audience! I played some solo, classical guitar for the kids—who were aspiring rock stars, I know it! Then Curtis Orange jumped up on stage to bang on the drums. We emphasized the classical and classically-influenced songs, even when I switched over to the electric guitar.

After Old Editions, we had a short time to relax, munch on some food and then off we went to the Amity Club—an alcohol-free hangout on Hertel and Military in Buffalo. We had an enthusiastic audience at Amity and really enjoyed playing there. Margot Kisiel and the Heenan Brothers followed us, but we had to rush offstage to our third, last-but not least-gig at Nietzsche’s on Allen Street. The Amity Club was a nice place to play. The acoustics weren’t bad and, like the Daily Planet, they had a nice stage and sound system. The club is a hangout for those in recovery from addictions, so the audience was, most decidedly, not drunk, so they were actually listening to us play! (Uh oh, we’d better be good tonight!) Most soothing to my ego, they actually laughed at all my jokes!

Hmm… Are we sure they weren’t drunk?

I have to give the Amity audience an “A” for effort and full participation. Laughing at Meria’s jokes, eh? You guys/gals are good. Probably went to audience school and learned to clap properly too.

photo by Jennings Campbell

Hmm… What does it all mean? Maybe my jokes aren’t so bad after all? They weren’t just trying to be polite, were they? Were they? Nah…

The midnight Nietzsche’s gig took a lot of preparation. Like Babeville, Nietzsche’s was a tough club to get booked into—one needs “connections.” Our only connection was with the Infringement peeps, so we were going to make the most of it. We played in the front of the bar, so we were the first thing people saw when they walked into the venue! Yay! The place was packed too. There is no elevated stage up front, so we were on the same level as the audience—democratizing, yes, but challenging too. Audience members could “invade” your “stage” area if they wanted to, and they could walk right up to your face while you’re playing. Very democratic, that level playing field (pun intended), but it also required a lot of focus and concentration on the part of the performers. But we did it! As people walked by only inches away from my face, I kept my focus, though I think I may have flubbed on a couple of songs. (What does it mean to “flub?” you ask. Well, perhaps one day we’ll have that discussion.)

Meria & Curtis Orange
photo by Cappixx

Anyway, this was an awesome challenge which helped us to grow as performers. MeriLynn saved the day by starting out the performance with her schtick. Curtis Orange managed to keep his cool as he was surrounded by beer—his beloved beer! We saw some talented local musicians, including members of Hooked on Casiophonics—Pam Swartz and RockNutz as well as singer-songwriter Kerry Fey in the audience, and that was pretty cool, too.

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