Gigging in Hamilton

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For about nine hours this past weekend yours truly was a professional musician, on the road in lovely Hamilton, Ontario. Here’s how it went down…

At about 7pm I was picked up by my buddy Dave Young and a tall, gaunt and friendly Serbian fellow by the name of Dragoslav Tanascovic. Together we loaded my drums into the back of Dave’s rock and roll van, and after picking up bassist Duff, we headed down the QEW to our show.

Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the bar we played at—in was in Gaelic, after all—but apparently it’s not that different from the many other Irish pubs that dot the downtown core. And I have to be honest, here… My first set sucked. Many of the Irish drinking tunes in the bands repertoire required a specific country-shuffle beat that I’ve never really played before, and as I hadn’t unpacked my drums since the Fringe show I did last July, it took most of that first set to get my bass drum foot warmed up.

During our first break I walked through the audience on my way outside for some fresh air. The room was filling in quickly from a long line-up outside the front doors. Everybody looked fourteen to me, the girls all tarted-up and squealing with delight at the longing looks they were getting from the scores of identically-dressed frat boys. And everything appeared to be kept in check by the watchful eyes of bouncers, the type you’d find at your typical strip joint.

Somewhere in the middle of the second set things clicked, probably because we switched to more memorable rock anthems, and Dragoslav switched from accordion to electric guitar. The frat boys loved it, and so did we—I think the high point of the evening was our rendition Bon Jovi‘s “Dead or Alive”… Hilarious!

And suddenly, it was all over. The house lights came up and the kids were ushered out onto the street. I packed up my kit and waded through a sea of broken glass and spilled beer back out to the van. After a quick stop for pizza we were back on the road home, and my night of musical celebrity was over.

I’d gladly do it again, hopefully without so much folky stuff. When all was said and done, last Friday night proved firsthand that kids still wanna rock!

😎

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