Keith at Costa Mesa — 23Feb2008

A very quiet night. People seemed to like the music, but it was one of those “don’t break the silence” vibes that keeps people from clapping — except one guy over in the comfy chairs and a young lady at one of the tables with her boyfriend. She clapped after every song, but she never once looked at me — odd.

I kept trying to tell myself that if I wasn’t there playing, I’d probably be at home either watching TV, or playing in the bedroom, and nobody’d be clapping there, either. So to just enjoy being out, and consider it a rehearsal. It’s actually just plain more fun to play through the amp, and especially to sing through it, with the reverb and all. I tell myself that, but it still bugs me when I get to the end of a song and people just sit there, silent. Even if it wasn’t me up there, I’d still consider it pretty rude. Poor boy up there giving it what he’s got — toss him a bone!

Anyway, the total silence makes it easy to hear myself, which makes me sing and play better ‘cuz I can tell what I’m doing. And my voice was finally back to normal after my cold, and I was completely in control again — even (only?) I was amazed at what I could hit/do. That’s a great feeling.

And since I was (apparently) just playing “for me” anyway, I took the chance to play some of the less common/popular songs, “Down On Yourself”, “Jersey Girl”, “Under the Boardwalk”, etc. Some of that stuff is just great fun to lean back and belt out.

A lady sat down at one of the tables at 9:40 or so. I quit promptly at 10, and when I went out to collect the song lists, she asked me if I played “events”. This time, I had the presence of mind not to hedge or dodge, and just say “Yes!” She works at (?) an art gallery in Long Beach (!) and she thought they might want to have me come play for something or other, an opening or show or something — she didn’t give any specifics. She isn’t actually in charge of it, but she was gonna suggest me to the lady who is, so I gave her a CD to take, and told her to email me if it worked out. As of this writing, that was 4 days ago now, so I’m not holding my breath.

But, apparently I wasn’t playing “for myself” after all — I need to remember that: despite the No-Response, people really are (or may be, anyway), listening. Kind of reversed the whole evening for me — even if she never calls.

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One thought on “Keith at Costa Mesa — 23Feb2008

  1. >But, apparently I wasn’t playing “for myself” after all — I need to remember that: despite the No-Response, people really are (or may be, anyway), listening…Great point, if very hard to keep in mind…! These bookstore environments really do tend to dampen, if not obliterate, peoples’ natural inclinations to respond to the performer. Listeners must all but crash through the plate-glass window of silence… which is just too public a demonstration for many people… though they may be quietly appreciating the music nonetheless… and they may be willing to chime in, should someone else bravely shatter the glass… – WA

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