Tag Archives: 3 Links Dallas Tx

A The Ramone Gig Recap- 3 Links 6-10-17

I have worked at the various mechanics of this performance for quite a while, so I didn’t have a lot of anxiety over execution
This seemed like a good opportunity for me to start working at separating the The Ramone live performance form Live karaoke
I want the stage performance to become a review of the cultural impact of The Ramones
The word “Review” having two different connotations

The traditional definition for review is “A type of multi-act popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance, and sketches. The revue has its roots in 19th century popular entertainment and melodrama but grew into a substantial cultural presence of its own during its golden years from 1916 to 1932.”

In my case, “music” is Ramones and the “sketches” are the snippets of video that I use in the transitions of the set (I’m still figuring out the dance part)
There is also a modern connotation of the word in that I see it as a review of The Ramones akin to what you would see on Youtube, hear on a podcast or read in a book
This is an attempt to approach the subject less from a traditional tribute band platform and steer it towards a One Man Show
just jack

This was the first performance where I employed the video as transition-intro to certain songs, plus the opening montage
I only had 30 minutes so I just rifled through the set
One of the things I learned recently was to give the audience a little time to applaud
I decided that the video segments were ample time for the audience to clap

The setup was quick but I got constructive criticism from the sound man (sorry, I forget everyone’s names when I am in setup-anxiety mode)who told me my tracks
coming out of the Roland P-10 Visual Sampler were too low and I should bring up the volume
That point was re-affirmed by my friend Carson who said that there was a hum during the quiet-er parts
I explained the volume deficiency and how it was probably because he had to work to get a decent gain level

I am using my own monitor coming out of a small mixer next to the video sampler because I have discovered an interesting thing about my hearing when onstage
I need different settings in my monitor over the course of a show and there simple wasn’t any time for me to keep asking the board for different EQ settings
My earbuds are still broken and I need to fix them as soon as I get the cash
Once they get fixed, I will be able to ditch the monitor and run everything through my in ears
The only thing I will need is my guitar through the monitor for feedback purposes
The majority of mistakes I made were as a result of me trying to adjust my monitors during a song
That’s when I fumble a chord or forget where I am
I need to train myself to fix those things at the end of a song and just work through it
The one and only monitor issue is the vocals and that is mostly because my voice is not in shape enough to project correctly at all the different pitches and dynamics
I currently have a headset mic running through a DOD Vocal processor but that is only for muting purposes (if I have to cough or there is a spike in feedback)
The only “effect” right now is the limiter to prevent feedback
That headset mic can be a little “whistle-y” and is not really designed for loud stage environment
I need to get someone with some knowledge to set an EQ for me
I also appreciate that the sound guy pointed out that I was a little too long getting my stuff off stage and I reflected that I was a little too disorganized in my breakdown
It’s mostly because of cables I need to tripe them together
They got all twisted around during setup and it took extra time for me to get everything untangled
My “send” cables from the guitar and mic are all triped together, I need to do the same with my other connectors

As far as the performance itself went, I had a good crowd during the beginning of the show which was half comprised of the friends of the bands and other customers
People seemed to enjoy the concept and it was fun to watch peoples’ faces as they realized what I was doing
I could even see people on the sidewalk stopping and watching what I was doing through the open bay door
They all seemed to be discussing what I was doing and pointing at the screen as they were watching, which is a great sign that the concept translated all the way out to the street
The crowd size ebbed and flowed but all in all I think it was a pretty good showing for the opening slot on a 4 band bill

I learned some new things to adjust and tested out some new concepts
Unfortunately, I got distracted when I set up the video camera
I turned it on but did not press record
This is frustrating because I have yet to get an entire performance that turned out well on video
There is only a small snippet of this show taken by Carson

My two future purposes are to finish the bass parts for the drum videos I recently made so that I can use the new setup live and offer a much deeper catalog for longer sets and Live Ramones Karaoke
The next thing is to book more gigs ASAP!


Post Gig Notes- the RAMONE @ 3 Links 8-28-16

I have only played as the Ramone 3 times in public before this and they were low pressure gigs
3 Links is a whole different situation because it is the most popular venue in Dallas for national punk acts
It is hard to get a gig there if you are not an established local act so I knew I had to pay some dues before I got booked
I emailed Scott Beggs, outlined my plans and asked him if he’d allow me to use a power outlet for busking
There is a decent stretch of sidewalk with no active business between 3 Links and the donut shop
He returned the message and offered me a Sunday gig that was less than a week away
So I scrapped my busking plans and concentrated on making my Audio/Visual show as tight as possible

I made sure to get there as early as possible and setup was a breeze
Blake is a really laid back sound engineer and made me feel instantly at ease
I would have to say that everything was pretty much perfect but I would soon find out different

99% of my stage experience has been in the back of the stage on a drum riser.
I have also been playing with in ear monitors for about 15 years
So, I am not experienced enough to understand how to ask for what I need in my monitors
I am also not used to hearing the PA so loud
Every performing musician knows that all of the time spent in the rehearsal studio cannot adequately prepare you for the sonic chaos that happens on a stage
I could barely tell what was happening and had to concentrate extra hard whilst trying to be entertaining as possible

My setup usually includes a mixer and in ear monitors but I tried to go as minimal as possible to make things easier on the soundman
I won’t make this mistake again

The other thing that the rehearsal studio cannot prepare you for is a live audience
This was the first time I had ever stepped on stage as a front man
I am lucky that I can switch to extrovert mode in situations like this so I think I did pretty well in the entertainment portion of the show

My singing was affected by my inexperienced ear on a loud stage so I am sure that I wasn’t on key all of the time
Other than that, I would say that my vocals turned out better than I expected
My guitar playing was less than spectacular and I freely admit that I need a lot more playing time to memorize the positions on a guitar so that I can play without having to look at the fretboard
My right hand technique has been solid ever since I picked up a guitar in the mid 80’s
My chording hand is the issue
Add to that the fact that I was wearing sunglasses that were fogging up and pooling with sweat and my guitar playing was the worst aspect of the gig

When I say “the worst” I mean that in the lightest sense because it wasn’t that big of an issue to the audience and I didn’t see any of their enthusiasm wane because I banged a clam
I only got lost once and one of my fellow musicians remarked later that I handled the fumble really well by treating it lightheartedly
You people don’t know how long it took me to get to a point where every mistake I made caused me to completely lose focus, which made things worse
Not just in music but in life in general

I got a lot of positive feedback after the show but the comments that really meant a lot were those from people who remarked at how original the concept was and how well I pulled it off
This is gratifying enough coming from an audience member but the bar staff and even the soundman were complimentary
Those people have seen hundreds of bands and for me to merit a unique status confirms that I’ve hit on a solid idea

This is the only time I have ever had people anticipate what I was doing before they had ever seen me perform
It was especially galvanizing to have Kimberly and Denny come down from Denton to see the show
Kimberly has been supporting me on Facebook both by spreading the word and messaging me
I look forward to exploring the various gigs I can play in Denton for her and Denny

All in all, this was an incredibly positive gig experience and galvanized me to keep working on making this better
Then I get off stage and realized that I forgot to press record on the video camera I set up so there is no complete recording of the gig
Here are clips from various audience members

The next move is getting the busking set ready
Labor day weekend is coming up and I need to be ready
The forecast says Saturday and Sunday are going to be rain free
I need to make my plans……..
Thanks to everyone who came out
See you on the streets soon!