The mission is underway.
My ransackables (definitely not a word) have been ransacked, and I am through security at Bucharest airport. Next stop is Cluj, Romanian. I am playing my first ever music festival – Jazz in the Street. For some reason, the harmonicas always raise a red flag at the airport. I guess they are worried I will Bob Dylan someone to death by way of blowing the blues harp, who knows. I am running on about two hours of sleep, but I actually feel pretty good. I haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet. You want coffee?! I’m making coffee! Who wants coffee?! I’m making coffee! Maikel, that was for you. I literally walked around the airport saying that out loud my friend ?. Ok, the morning airport rant is over.
Let’s take a step back to last nights gig at Craft si Draft. Craft si Draft is a classy new beer bar smack dab in the middle of the city center in Bucharest. They have great beer and burgers. Last night was such an amazing night filled with amazing people. Thank you all for coming out and supporting me. It truly means a lot.
If you read my last post gig ponder session, you will recall that I had some technical difficulties in the beginning which got me all giggity giggity, but in a nervous “oh shit” kind of way. The same thing happened last night. I borrowed a speaker from my friend Iulia as this bar did not have a PA system yet. I am usually pretty good around large sound systems, but this little red devil had me stumped for some reason. I still don’t know what made it work. It was a combination of a bad cable and me just being a dumbass, I think. I eventually worked it out, and I settled on a sound which got me through the night. Wait. Let’s step back again. I was a dumbass multiple times tonight ?
Dumbass round 1, here we go!
I first arrived at the bar around 7:45 pm. I quickly realized I had forgotten an adapter for the mic cable. I went from the let’s rock mindset to the let’s set an Olympic land speed record to run home and get an adapter the size of my index finger mindset. I didn’t go to the gym that day, so I guess this was me making up for it? When I left, there were very few people inside, but when I returned, it was packed with my friends! I remember leaving on my Olympic run home thinking I guess I don’t suck, or my friends are just real nice
I hope people show up, because I am haulin’ ass to get home and am sweating like a mad man!” I don’t mind singing to empty rooms, I have done it many times. You have no expectations, it’s just like a live practice, but this was not the case. The crowd was amazing and so supportive. I made eye contact with some folks who I had never seen at my gigs before and they were really engaged, it was pretty cool. I had some pretty solid applauses which made me feel all nice n fuzzy inside. I guess I don’t suck, or my friends are just really damn nice!
Dumbass round 2
After stumbling through the setup, I looked around for my setlist and realized I had forgotten that at home too. I thought boy you are one pathetic loser! (Tommy Boy Reference). Luckily, I have all my songs on a google sheet and own one of them fancy smart phones, so I was able to use that as a frame of reference, but I was still disappointed because I wrote out what I thought was a pretty solid setlist. The funny part is, I had already ran home once to get something I forgot and here I was thinking about do it again. I have to get more organized. ? For the record, I was not using the social medias on stage.
I came out firing (in my opinion) with an upbeat rock jam of mine called “Wanderin’ around the day.” After all the technical failures I felt I needed to come out strong. This was the same mind set as list gig. It worked well then, so I figured I’d take the same approach. That song really gets me fired up because it’s about going through your day and letting life came at you. Take it as it comes. I also like to sing a Romanian song called Amintiri cu Haiduci.
When the crowd hears me singing in their language, they are usually thrown off guard. I usually add this later on in the set to bring anyone back who has gotten lost ?. Last night was the first time I heard people singing along with me during this jam. It was a really cool feeling to hear an echo of voices following the same vocal line as me. The dream is for that to happen with my songs one day. I will probably cry the day it happens and hopefully not mess up my own song!
My set was about one hour and forty-five minutes. I did not drink alcohol the entire time, so needless to say I was ready for some ice cold brewskis! I felt like a pinball bouncing from person to person after the gig. The turn out was so amazing, I had not expected it to be this many people. Again, thank you all so much for coming! To wrap this up and to shed some light on why I only slept 2 hours, I will explain my final decisions which made this mindset possible. The speaker I borrowed had to be returned after the gig. I still needed to double check my packing for Cluj. I really wanted to hang and have a few beers with everyone that came. A decision had to be made. I slammed the remainders of my tall stout, called an uber, and made some quick deliveries before heading back to the bar. Three stops later, a quick look in the mirror to say “you got this shit!”
I was back. It was like I never left. We washed down a few more beers, told some stories, got serenaded by some fine gents with accordions, and eventually got some pizza. It was an epic night. Thanks again to everyone who came, and I hope everyone enjoyed this post. Next post gig ponder will be based on my feels after the sets at Jazz in the Street in Cluj, Romania. This is my first festival and I cannot wait. Have a lovely rest of your day.