Sunday, June 18, 2006

Speeding Motorcycle 6/16

Mr. Toads Wild Ride continues....

Well, it's been a week like no other. First, the New York Times writes us a love letter and the cherry on top comes in the form of another rave review from the Houston Press. Needless to say, my expectations for the show have far exceeded what I could have imagined.
Friday's show had a few stumbles, resulting in an uneven second act, but our spirits were not dampened and we all pushed ahead and delivered the best we could.
A few technical difficulties and a lapse in my memory(during Living Life) left something to be desired from Friday's performance. A faulty microphone chord left us without amplification for all of act II and took the wind out of our sails in the process. As much as I tried, without a mic to pose behind, the finale fell flat on its face. The band did their best to help, but without their fire I felt I was just marking time throughout Loving Feelings. Nevertheless, the audience seemed pleased and was as appreciative as they've been for any other night.
As soon as I walked in to the lobby following the finale, Mossie turned to me and expressed her amazement at my ability to "wing it", despite the mechanical failures that plagued the act. That was really sweet.
The highlight of the evening for me was, once again, True Grief. The songs title said everything I was feeling after the rocky road that was the second half. The songs climax found Tony on his knees before the ivory God as he guided the band though a powerhouse rendition. The "rock show" portion was probably our strongest effort of the night. In our defense, we all managed to rise above the post intermission difficulties and maintained a consistent energy level that sent all those who remained home in a great mood.
During the beginning moments of the "rock show", many people approached me and complimented my performance. But the one that stuck out the most was a young lady whose reply to my, "Thank you for coming.", was an astonishing, "Thank you for BEING." Uuuuuh, GADZOOKS! That one took me by surprise.
Jennifer Mathieu was in the audience and her smile was beaming from start to finish. You can't help but have a great time when someone like that is returning every bit of energy you are delivering. Mad props to her. Though I did notice she had no problem taking her attention away from the action mid-stage to let her eyes travel stage right in hopes of catching a glimpse of her husband in the band. Newlyweds...whatcha gonna do?
The most pathetic sight of the night came just as we were leaving the dressing room to take our places for the first act. Alone in the lobby stood Chet & Erin, our biggest fans, having been shut out of the sold out performance. The poor saps. Following the show, I spotted Chet and asked if they had managed to get seats following intermission. "No", he replied, proudly explaining they had just come back minutes before in order to catch the lobby performances. Now that is some badass dedication. My hat is off to you both.
As I hung out after the show, I was handed a green piece of paper that had a hand written message that stated, "I platonically love your fire hydrant." It was signed, "Love, the whole world."

Saturdays performance? Now that was a WHOLE other ball game....


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