But I'll lead up to it.
First, last night, and this morning, I was stressing trying to get everything ready for this gig. I was really excited about it. It was for a youth conference, hosted by a local LDS private school. They also publish a homeschooling curriculum, and so there were a lot of those students from all over at the conference, too. It's a big week long affair, and I got to be the speaker/performer that opened it up.
So, I'm trying to get everything ready, because I'm going there straight from work. I realize that I'd left some key gear at Morey's when we got together for the Project's practice. So, I'd have to borrow or improvise.
This morning, in a few spare moments, I tweaked the Millstones mix. I like it a lot better, now. It might well be the mix I run with.
Then, at work, I played Diego the roughs of his song, and he was very excited. That was really good, because I wasn't too confident in the direction I was going with it. But now, renewed, I can tackle it again.
So, after work, I head out to the gig, I stopped at Connie and John Roberts' to pick up some things, borrowed, to use instead of the thigns I had left at Morey's, and went on out to Aspen Grove to the conference.
When I got there and started to set up, I paniced. I couldn't believe how idiotic I'd been! I'd forgotten the mixer for the PA! I'd brought speakers, mic's, everything. No mixer!
My first thought was that I could do the gig unplugged with just my acoustic guitar. That would work, but it wouldn't be as much fun. I saw that there was a house system built into the room where the conference was, with speakers in the ceiling. I checked and I could run one side of my CD player into the system, and feed in the mics as well. It was boomy in a major way, and there was no EQ AT ALL.
But, the show must go on, right?
And it did, and the kids LOVED it. I could tell from the opening chords of "Here in Me" that they were into it. They spontaneously burst into clapping along several times through the set.
The hour-long "show" was really more of a fireside, because I did a lot of speaking as well. I talked about how there's really six conditions for listening:
- Bad (unrighteous) songs, performed by artists whose lifestyles are bad examples
- Innocent (non-religious) songs, performed by bad examples
- Good (righteous) songs, performed by bad examples
- Innocent songs, performed by good examples
- Good songs, performed by good examples
- Songs by members of the church, that touch me and bear testimony to my soul.
We talked about our favorite bands and how they fit into this picture.Then I played a few acoustic songs, talked some more and ended with "Thank You", and "I Hear the Voices Singing".
Then, I was amazed. They started cheering, and it just swelled. There were about 200 kids and staff there, and the noise just was overwhelming. Then a lot of them stood up, still cheering!
As some of you who've been reading my blogs know, this has been a challenging spring and summer. I've wondered at times what I was doing and why I was doing it. I'll tell ya, that show was a real boost and I've really needed that.
And afterward, they rushed the table to get my pass-it-on CD's and ask for autographs. I was overwhelmed with the whole spirit of the day. So many things had stressed me out preparing for this gig, and in the end I learned it was the songs and the message that were the important part. Not the gear or the performance (frankly, I've performed better--I've also done much worse). But it was the message and the fun that touched the kids!
So, I've been very blessed tonight. I hope I get to do it again next year!