It's amazing how shows can contrast. This is something you're always aware of, but even when you prepare yourselves as a band as thoroughly as possible, elements seem to always conspire to try and throw off your show. Case in point: we had two amazing and fun shows at Spinnaker's in Panama City Beach last weekend - we could all sing, play, hear ourselves, feel the crowd - elevate. In short, it was rock and roll. All the things you want, and thus 2 high points of the tour.
Then we had two 11:30 am college shows following little sleep, PA difficulties, drudgery, one had us surrounded by all sorts of space cadets (that's kind language) making us feel not even wanted...resulting in 2 of the most difficult shows of the tour. And how did we prepare differently? Not differently at all!
But it's all bigger picture. I've read tour diaries by... U2. You'd think with the same sound system, sound crew, same stage traveling with you, same in ear monitors, same set length, 20 000 screaming fans every night knowing all your songs...you'd think every night would be close to the same. But surprise, they're not. No matter how big, small, or in the middle you are, there are always things. I've seen Bruce Springsteen some nights that left me wondering how my life would have gone on the same had I not seen that show. I've come out other nights - same band, same tour - feeling like they spent the whole night trying to roll a boulder up a hill into the wind. Same crew, same songpool, same everything. Different shit.
When I was touring solo - sometimes I'd play to a club full of people into every song, making all sorts of new fans, selling CD's, filling the mailing list, etc, and wonder how it was ever not so good. Then the next day I'd play to a farmer's market or sports bar full of people who could care less. You just never know. With a band, it's contagious. But luckily I think we all feel a responsibility and a need to put forth the best effort we can with whatever the world seems to have equipped us with that day - even if you don't even feel like a musician standing up there sometimes. And as a result, there are always people that come up gushing at the end. It's just a matter of how many.
Us at Hank FM, with Melissa the DJ.