The sound was a pretty big problem, almost all the way through. My guitar was either mysteriously disappearing, or getting swallowed up by the ambient noise; the usual grinders and blenders, but, I think, mostly the general din of conversations bouncing right around the place. “Live room”, I guess. Makes a big difference between “getting their attention” and not, ‘cuz it’ll affect the amount of conversation you have to play over. It’s a good place to play because it’s close to my house, and close enough that there’s a chance some friends may come out (only one did, this time), but it’s definitely the worst sound environment we’ve played at.
I kept playing with the controls for my guitar, but it’s hard to figure out what to do when, during the previous song, it was both too loud and too quiet. I kept tweaking the tone, but I think in the end I was (unknowingly) trying to find some kind of tone that would cut through the noise. I got somewhere close, and just proceeded on faith, but later on when it got emptier and quieter, the guitar sound magically wasn’t a problem anymore.
As a joke, I made some stickers for my guitar to make it look like a “Guitar Hero” controller. A few people “got it”, but most people didn’t, and seemed to think it was some kind of remedial guitar. So I’ve taken them off. I thought it was a pretty good joke, myself, but on the other hand, they’d occasionally throw me off and I’d grab the wrong fret, oddly enough. I guess I’m too used to a completely blank fingerboard.
One guy who definitely didn’t “get it” was a friendly but kinda loopy guy who came to sit right down front, and proceeded to sing, loudly, along with every song he knew. I ended up trying to find songs that would entertain everybody else, but that he wouldn’t know, but he’s in some kind of songwriter/singer club, and he knows lots of songs. Finally Warren leaned over and shushed him, multiple times, until he figured it out. It’s cool that he was having fun, but (a) the people around him, I think, wanted to hear me, not him, and (b) it was confusing to me to have him singing the songs differently than I do, and fumbling for the words and screwing me up.
One high point, though, was little Garrett (maybe 3?) and his dad that came in and sat right down front. The kid apparently plays “Guitar Hero”, so he recognized my guitar, and he wanted to dance and “air guitar” while we were playing. I enlisted him to make train noises with the shaker while we played “Jenny Dreamed of Trains”, and he did pretty well. I started conspicuously tapping my foot to try to get/keep him on beat, but he saw that and tried to imitate it, which along with the shaker, overloaded his coordination and almost made him fall over. It was really cute, and the rest of audience was enjoying watching him, too.