so, I won.
After 20 or 30 something tries at the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge, I won. It was the greatest thing. I am still awestruck and psyched and honored. But the thing that makes it the best is HOW I did it.
Last night at practice for Box of Records (the cover band I play with) the guitar player (who is also the guitar player when I play my music with a band) said something along the lines of “I dont know HOW but you always get people to sing along. It’s really cool”
This past Monday, I did just that.
I got up to the mic. And put my iPad on the piano. And pointed at it and said “that, over there, terrifies me, so I’m going to play something else first to get my confidence up” :-p
So i started with “We Were There” and was rocking out and bouncing around all over and it sounded really good. Then I sat down to play “I Wish” at the piano and was terrified and it ALSO was really good, despite me not having touched a piano more than once or twice since April…someone sitting next to me said “holy s#!t you NAILED THAT”
At the end when the judge announced the finalists he announced me first and said he loved my energy. I usually hate when people say that. Somewhere in the back of my mind it means “your song is terrible” or “why dont you play guitar better” but this time I figured that the reason I’m up here is cause it’s fun. And I want everyone sitting in front of me to have fun too.
I was reminded of this as I was just listening to the amazing Irish band The Wolfe Tones who never cared how precise they were, just that they and the audience were having a great time. And, to paraphrase my favorite new singer, Frank Turner, I asked everyone there “do you want to join my band?” I ran through the chorus quickly closed my eyes and prayed for the best.
I played Goodnight is not Goodbye and by the third chorus had the whole place singing in harmony with me…it was pretty great. And then it was announced I won.
It was a little surreal. I was a little too goofy thanking everyone who was there, shaking hands, all of a sudden i was a minor celebrity. But I kept thanking everyone else for making me sound good, and hoping they had a great time for those 15 minutes or so during which I was the focus of the lights and the sound system but I was listening to them.