I’m looking forward to our next show at Orlando Brewing later today. One of the things I personally really like about playing this venue is that because of licensing reasons, bands have to play original songs. (For bars to have live music that is registered / owned by a performance rights organization like ASCAP or BMI, read: covers, they have to purchase a license that allows them to have public performances of the copywrited material.)
It’s a three hour time-slot, which can be a challenge to play with only originals. We’re fortunate to have a deep catalogue but it is forcing us to dust of some songs we don’t play too often and spurring us to play some of the new originals we’ve been working on for the full length album we have in the works. Necessity being the mother of invention, it looks as if we’ll be debuting three new songs.
I generally make the setlist about a week before the show so I can get a feel for what we’ll need to work on at rehearsal, either to knock rust off a song we haven’t played in a while or to identify any potential train wrecks on new material.
When you’re performing something you don’t have a lot of practice or live reps on, you tend to play it (unscientifically) 11% percent worse than you do in rehearsal. This is due to nerves, or hesitance on where the changes are, or just from the sheer fact of having to engage more of your active attention on remembering the chords or the song structure and not being able to rely on muscle memory. The key is to get proficient enough in the rehearsal space to where that 11% drop doesn’t take you down to where you turn the song into unintended free jazz.
Hopefully, you’ll watch us play Friday and, based on the performance, have no idea which songs are the new ones. But if you get the sense that we’re looking at each other or talking to each other during a song a little bit more than we usually do, maybe it’s one of the debuts.
And if you see me scowling a little bit during a song, remember that it likely has *nothing* to do with the performance or how well we know the song: that’s just my face when I’m playing. :)