Post Gig Ponder – St. Louis, MO @ Cafe Piazza

Three cities,  five airport beers, some cheese fondue, a few new friends, and half a zantac later

Three cities,  five airport beers, some cheese fondue, a few new friends, and half a zantac later; I have found myself in the Paris airport awaiting my flight back “Home”  to Bucharest, Romania. I put the home in quotations there because I have just left the place which I have called home for my entire life, and always will. The place I will always call home is Saint Louis, Missouri.  This was the first time in my entire life I have played a concert featuring a large amount of my original material for my friends and family in St. Louis. I am so grateful to have the amount of support, love, and friendship from all of you, thank you very much.  I have always known St. Louis is a place where I can come home and find myself in a cozy spot with familiar faces, but the turn out last night put a whole new perspective on how much all of you back home mean to me. Don’t cry. I’m not, only a little bit from the lasik eye drops ;).  Seriously though, love you all, and thanks from the bottom (or the top) of my heart for the support. I can not put words to how much last night meant to me, but I will try my best here 🙂 I can not wait to come back and do it again, next time, hopefully with a band.

The cheetos may be smashed and my tambourine is in St. Louis

I just realized I left my tambourine in St. Louis, damnit.  I am sure there are other things I have left behind as well due to the fact that I did not pack for my trip back until about 3am after the gig.  I left the day after the gig. Pretty typical me. I procrastinate on everything in life, but somehow manage to get all my shit done. I do not know how I do it, but this system of madness has yet to fail me too terribly 🙂  I knew I had so much to do, but I could not resist a couple more Busch beers back at Brent’s house with the boys to have a proper send off.  I blame that fancy pen you boys use for my current lack of tambourine. The only solution is for one of you to get on a plane and bring it to me 😉  For my Romanian friends that read this, don’t worry, I brought your American munchies so we can get fat together. The cheetos may be smashed, sorry.  Anyways, back to the day of the gig. This post is gonna be a bit all over the place, let’s just blame the jet lag. My writing style is just utter chaos anyway, but hey I enjoy it, and hope you do too.

If you can’t duct it, fuck it.

The day of the gig has been great.  I went to bed the night previously at a reasonable hour and drank more water than beer.  I was shocked at my level of maturity, but I really did not want to deal with a hangover on gig day.  I am only 29 and hangovers are like battles that can not be won in a day anymore. Shit, I am getting old.  I did some family shenanigans in the afternoon and then made my way to guitar center to pick up the PA rental for the day.  The bar did not have a sound system, so I had to supply it, which meant I also had to set it up. Thanks to Big Papi’s threat to put people in a headlock if they did not fill up the minion tip jar I bought at a thrift store that day, I walked out positive on the cash side that night.  Success! Time to quit my day job 😉 The speakers are on their stands, the guitar is sounding nice through the PA, let’s check the mic next. I go to setup the mic stand and notice there is no holder for the microphone. Damn you Gui*** Cen***, damn you. This is the second time this has happened at a gig when I am supplying my own sound.  I will now carry this piece of equipment at all times in my guitar case. One that fits both size threads which are common on mic stands, because I now have both! I was pretty positive I had this piece back at my parents house, but I was not sure, so I hopped on google and searched music stores in Soulard.  There are not that many.  About three phone calls later and one in store visit, I am still lacking the piece to hold the microphone, and I could not do a proper sound check like I wanted.  It was about 6pm now, so I headed home to shit, shave, shower and hopefully find this piece for the mic stand, otherwise duct tape would be my new best friend. If you can’t duct it, fuck it they say.

Luckily, I found what I was looking for at home, and most of my worries went away.  I was way more excited than nervous for this gig. I knew I was going to perform for a lot of my friends and a good chunk of my family, so I was ready to rock n roll.  When I got back to Cafe Piazza, the patrons had began to shuffle in. The usual suspects were there already awaiting my arrival, you know who you are 😉 The bar was filling up, and I was getting very excited to perform.  I made a quick sound check, and then walked around the room to drop a few hello’s before starting. This room was filled with everyone I love in St. Louis, a few presences lacked, but hey you can’t win em’ all. I knew I would be getting pulled in multiple directions after the gig, so I wanted to try and say thanks to everyone for coming before I began playing.

Feeling drunk with happiness back in my old ways

I performed a lot of new material during this set and even played some covers which I have not performed in a long time.  I say new material, and that only means new to me (most likely).   I believe all of these songs were something new to everyone watching.  I actually just organized my songs, and I have 35 originals ready to record and about 10 others which need some touching up. Time to be a full time music man I say!  I was performing for my high school and grade school friends, so I wanted to play some songs all of us could really relate to. The songs we could all relate to were tunes written by a band called OAR.  OAR stands for “Of A Revolution.”  This was my friends and my favorite group as our friendship grew in high school. After performing a song called “Joe’s song” which can be heard HERE on youtube.  I jumped into the OAR songs.  I placed these together because Joe’s song is a song I wrote which is about coming back home to surprise my mom.  It brings me back home and puts me in a mindset of my old familiar ways. It just seemed right to put these together in the set list.  As per usual, I planned on playing two sets, but was caught in the moment and ended up performing for an hour and forty five minutes straight.  That was actually a record for me! I ended the set with a song called Midnight Strollin. I planned on ending with an OAR song called Hey Girl, but I completely butchered it and decided to play an original.  Luckily the crowd was nice enough to applaud for my butchering 😉 Thanks, yall. I still forget how the second verse starts 🙂

This paragraphs for the boys

I was sweaty and was grinning from ear to ear.  I just played my first and definitely not last concert in St. Louis.  I was in an amazing state of happiness. I had enough material to perform another set, but this was my last night in town and I wanted some time to hang with all the homies a bit before going home and packing to head back across the pond to Romania.  I know I just said I wanted time to hang, but I didn’t expect to stay out until 3:30 am and to pack until departing for the airport with Janice, but hey, shit happens! After the gig, my friends helped me load out all the gear to my Dad’s Honda Civic.  Thanks pops for the car, and thanks for the help loading out amigos. We headed on over to my buddy Brent’s house for a few post gig beers and other party favors. This was the last time I’d see these boys in who knows how long, and the did make me sad.  Love you boys (emotional moment in the post). It felt good to be back, but something was still calling me back to Europe, when I find it, I will let ya know what it is.

We ate oreo cookies in our underwear.  Goodnight.

We finished the last of the party favors and I headed back towards home.  I had to drop off Joe first. I doubt Joe will read this because he doesn’t social media, but Joe hugged me 17 times in his driveway before letting me drive home.  Love ya buddy. When I got home, my pops was awake. My dad and I have this kind of tradition where I show up home late and filled with party favors. We catch up in the kitchen and eat oreos.  Him in his underwear and me in my jeans. It’s a good father son bond we have. Oreos were not consumed this time, but we did some catching up in our normal attire 😉

Without further delay, I packed my bags and eventually fell on my bed to take a quick nap.  The only regret I have is that I forgot my tambourine in St. Louis. Whoever from St. Louis visits me first, I request you bring that bad boy with ya.  Thanks again to all the friends and family that showed up. What an epic last night in St. Louis, Love you with all my heart and more. Until next time my friends.  In the end my friends we will all be together again.

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