One new year's resolution down, 28 years worth of unaccomplished resolutions to go. I finally played at my first open mic night this past Monday. I've been telling my friends that I was going to do it for at least 3 months now and Mo's Bar and Grill finally got what it asked for. I was sooooooo nervous, but I think being sort of dumped by my latest pre-boyfriend gave me the adrenaline boost needed to seek approval, love and validation from a room full of complete strangers. It actually wasn't too bad!
9:05 we arrive at mo's where Quinn, the completely adorable and apparently high "host" of the open mic was playing some of his own stuff. He is very good and plays with soul. I immediately need to pee just looking at the stage, but then realize that there are only 3 people in the joint besides me, my 2 friends and the waitstaff. And of the three people, one is probably a homeless man and the other is a guy who still has the old navy sizing sticker on his new pair of jeans. They will certainly not boo or hiss if I forget the words to "The Great Divide" right? Right. I start to feel moderately relaxed.
9:10 Quinn and I exchange pleasantries. He attempts to help me calm my nerves (which despite the low traffic in the place, remain insanely active). My aunt Pat who is a musician in Boise, ID told me to make nice with the host since he is the one who controls the floor. Luckily, I was the only person who wanted to play, so I probably could have been a raging psychotic and still been allowed to manhandle the microphone. One other girl says that she will play. Her name is Snow and she is from Alaska. I wonder if she is related to Jewel.
9:30 ish (I don't really remember the time because I was too busy not vomiting). I get up to play. We have to mic my guitar because I DIDN"T REALIZE THAT THERE WAS A BATTERY IN MY GUITAR and it is apparently dead. Did YOU know that guitars have batteries?????
The crowd responds well to my weak performance of my Bob Dylan cover. Normally, I rock at this song, but the combination of arthritis and nerves made it a little less than brilliant. Then I play "All Fiction" and "Love Song"...the crowd is definitely reacting well...I get a few hollers and such and it makes me sort of brave. I say I'm done and they say, "ONE MORE!!!!" so I attempt to play "The Great Divide". True to my premonition, I forget the words to the second verse and end the song early, but it isn't bad. I'm just learning.
9:45 We stay for everyone else because I don't want to be rude at my first open mic. Snow sings. She has the voice of black lesbian woman. I don't really know how that is any different than a normal black woman, except that her songs were all about loving yourself and the woman child inside you and her loving her lover. She was cool and fearless. I liked her and let her use my guitar even though I'm pretty sure her legs were hairy and she wasn't related to Jewel. Everyone else was kind of non-descript. I played again later after one rotation and it was a little more relaxed. I'm getting there. Quinn said to come back and I offered to sing back up for him on a few of his cover numbers.
My general impressions were that most people who want to write songs, write them and play them even if they are no good. Quinn was probably the best singer/songwriter there and I was encouraged to realize that I wasn't the crappiest. I guess I just get nervous because we live in a world where american idol is the hottest show. We love the delusional people on that show because they are horrible but THINK they are amazing. What if I'm the Songwriting equivalent of that William Hung guy? In any case, things went well and I'm going to do it again. You should come hear me next time.... I promise to work on remembering the words to Great Divide.