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Thursday, April 1, 2004

FL Solo Tour Diary #1

When Jenny and I arrived in FL, it was like being dropped into a safari out of a Russian war. We took a train to the baggage claim, which seemed necessary only in order to introduce me to palm trees again. I didn't draw offense at this. Mor, the master promoter of FL met us at the curb, and we were off to lie around until the show so I could get nervous. Up until we started watching tv, I was only nervous that I would never find the book I had intended to bring with me. But there was nothing to do until showtime, so I brooded. I hadn't exactly executed the set flawlessly while rehearsing in my living room for Lumas, who offered no constructive criticism and no applause. In fact, he seemed almost annoyed at my incredibly dynamic delivery. It must've seemed odd to him though, since he could only hear me yelling or falsetto singing a cappella (the music was only in my in-ear monitors). The first show was exactly what I wanted it to be. There were maybe 25 people in the room (?), DJ Stranger and X (who shared the bill) were incredibly respectful and kind to me, and the sound guy was also cool. My equipment situation fell right into place - I managed to make everything 100% self-contained. The sound guy had only to move one slider to mix me, because I mixed the music, keyboard, and two mics myself on stage. It's nice with the in-ear monitors. You can't really gauge the audience reaction, so you're forced to just try and perform your best and move along quickly, which works for me. Mostly I was terrified at forgetting the lyrics to 90 East, which I'd never really memorized. Strange things happened. I didn't really forget any lyrics that I was worried about. But my mouth was betraying me at points - like for I'm Not Really a Rapper, I completely ran out of saliva. Completely. Like I've never been this dry. My lips were sticking to my teeth, and I had this rabbit/squirrel mouth look going on, and my fastraps couldn't get through the wreckage. I've been rapping for 19 years, and that's never happened to me. I couldn't stop and get water because I didn't want to miss any of the verses. And my mouth would rearrange some words like I was dyslexic. Instead of saying "Oil, vinegar, water, and dressing mix" I'd say "Oil, vinar, watiger, and dressing mix." And I'd forget half of the simplest lines that I'd never had a problem. These are all side effects of performance anxiety that I'd never experienced. So that was fun. But all in all I was pleased with the performance (though I haven't watched the video yet, which Jenny managed to do while selling gobs of CDs), and it perfectly served as a warm up night for my first night with Grand Buffet and Bleu Bird, the seasoned veterans of rock rap.

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