Unveil the Mystery (Issue no4)

August 2, 2014

Hi there, ho there! 

 

Last week i did a gig with a tribute to Harmonium, 70's french canadian legendary folk prog i've already mentionned before,  called ''premier ciel''. I've been with them since 2006, replacing occasionnally their bassist, Richard Lanthier, currently touring with another legendary canadian band, ''april wine''.  F.Y.I.,  you can hear Richard playing on the song ''the falling man'' on mystery's ''one among the living'', and was as well the bassist of a yes tribute called ''close to the edge'' with benoit david.....and you know the rest of the history!

 

 Anyway, to make it short, what happened on that gig was something not very far from what would be part of a musician's nightmare! The whole outdoor stage was made of concrete, walls, floor and roof. Unlike usual outdoor stages, its ''bulletproof'' against any vagary of the weather, heavy rain, wind, tornado's, you name it....but it sounded boomy, some would say ''roomy'', producing a very undesirable, constant low and mid range frequency feedback on stage, all coupled with a last minute short soundcheck...of course that was'nt enough, it was windy, cold, the caravan used as a dressing room was smaller than a shoe box, the free-admittance show started late, 11pm, a few in the audience started leaving during the beginning of the set...yeah, it was written 'forgettable gig' all over it. 

 

But as i said in one of my previous chronicles, that's where you can tell who's got the professional attitude or not. I have to salute the incredible positive attitude of the whole band, especially the drummer and lead guitarist (bob st-laurent and sebastien cloutier) who were determined  to fight against these feedbacked painful moments and played with a smile on their faces throughout the gig, rocking the hell out of their instruments when appropriated during the songs, pushing the dynamic range of our music to the limits, elevating the whole thing to a highly pleasurable experience for the 5 other musicians on stage while we were on the edge of (almost) loosing our temper at some points (at least for some of us). This is what i call inspiring professional attitude, strong enough to shift the whole thing 180 degres...

 

I was already aware that was the right attitude, but i used to be very immature before, during and after gigs not so long ago, any distraction or technical problem could ruin my gig, and i was very hard on myself, being my own worst critic at every bloody show, to the point of irritating my collegues with it. But i managed to get better at this with simple things: like simplify my rig so i would get less frustrations often coming from malfunctionning equipment, broken strings, unmusical noises and hum's, or listening to the whole band and take all the time needed to get a better monitor mix, a bit of everything, smile, singing even if i dont have to, making faces to the other musicians, telling jokes....the stage is where it supposed to be fun, period. Once i got that, i was happier on stage.

 

Ive been listening to a wide range of stuff this week as usual: al dimeola's elegant gypsy, tony bank's wicked lady soundtrack, yes going for the one...but above all learning a bunch of stuff for one of my cover band project.

 

have a great week :)

 

proggin' around the clock

-frank

 

 

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December 25, 2014

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