Saturday, June 24, 2006

Speeding Motorcycle 6/23

For the first time in the run, I firmly believe that WE drove the Speeding Motorcycle tonight rather than letting it drive us. The energy of the cast/crew was at record levels tonight and the show reflected our determination and spirit. Even the speed bumps that occurred weren’t enough to derail our momentum. That is an amazing tribute to us. Like Jeff Spicoli on the crest of a tasty wave, we caught the X-factor and made it our bitch.
My excite-o-meter had already been pushed in to the red before the show even started. At my request, my big brother had flow in from New Mexico especially to see the closing weekends performances. As with my father, I’ve not had a whole lot of opportunities to perform for my brother over the years and that made it very special. And the cherry on top was my mother accompanying him on the ride.
The first stumble came pretty early on in the show during “Life In Vain”. As the band came in during the second verse, the rhythm for a bit funky and it threw the band off for a few bars. Cathy said during intermission that she did several looks back and forth between the band and myself, finally concentrating on me, which calmed her down allowing her to keep her cool. That made me feel nice that she felt I was a calming force on stage. In fact, very nice. I felt us all get off for a few bars but didn’t feel like it took away any of the emotional impact of the song. Proving we were in the drivers seat.
The last few nights I’ve been pet sitting in a beautiful house located in West University. They own an incredible baby grand piano that I took full advantage of while there. In running through “Peek-a-Boo” on it, I had some great emotional discoveries and attempted to incorporate them during the performance. I was more than please with the outcome especially the final note that is pounded out at its conclusion. I found that if I release the echo pedal just as I strike those last notes, a desperately hollow feeling is produced.
Kyle continues to outdo himself with each new performance of “Funeral Girl”. In fact, Chris Bakos had a brief discussion back stage about which was more powerful, “Funeral Girl” or “My Baby Cares For The Dead”. While Chris argued for the latter, I favored the former sighting its changing tempo that offers the best of both worlds. Chris agreed. However, we both came to an agreement that the acapella nature of “My Baby” had to be more difficult to perform. Kyle’s performances of both are mystically sublime and have more soul in them than I thought possible for a rural white boy. He’s an incredible showman and never fails to inject every ounce of energy he’s got in to everything he does. Bravo!
The crowd tonight was stupendous. I got more laughs from them than I have any other which provided me with an even greater desire to please than I had arrived with. They applauded after “Peek-a-Boo” and created a tremendous roar following AJ’s “Don’t Let The Sun” and Kyle’s “Funeral Girl”. They even gave us a standing ovation following “Loving Feelings”(our second of the run).
Speaking of “Loving Feelings”, I’ve come to crave the raw emotion emoted by Joe during this song. Plain and simple, it’s “the truth and nothing more”. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and never fails to re-fill my emotional tank. Every person I confronted with during the second half looked me straight in the eye and seemed to feast on the wisdom contained inside the lyrics. I can’t properly express the spiritual high I get from such a reaction. It cuts deep.
Last week, Jason loaned me the master soundboard copy of our Rudyard’s performance from a few weeks back. After listening to it, I realized I should approach “Brainwashed” with a lighter feel rather than the forceful country twang I formally had performed with. It too felt a much more truthful in its delivery and even had me choked up at its conclusion.
Tony’s piano work on both “True Grief” and “Rock This Town” should make him a shoe in for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. At the climax of “True Grief”, Kyle turned to me and said, “I think he’s fucking it (the piano)!” Turning back toward the stage, Tony began a series of manic pelvic thrusts that confirmed his suspicions. Kyle and I nearly collapsed on top of one another with laughter.


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