So I have this new website that I’ve created and decided to launch a blog section. I should clarify that I cannot take full credit for the content on the website. My brother Grant who happens to be the bassist in Neon Nostalgic, is an unofficial web surfing guru. I had him critique my work and give feedback along with suggestions for layout and content. I guess you could say this is Grant’s site with my pictures!
So why the blog? Why would anyone care what I have to say? Well the truth of the matter is I have a lot of gigging and recording experience for someone who doesn’t do music full time. I’ve been very fortunate through hard work to perform in 14 countries and infront of thousands of people. If you know me, you know I love sharing stories about gigs and love talking about music gear and the latest and greatest. My plan is to share this with you. Maybe you’ll get a chuckle, or maybe as a fellow guitar player or musician, you might get something out of it or consider something you never thought of.
August turned out to be a great month for gigs. Elevation returned to Bolton to headline the Midnight Madness street festival. The usual Elevation followers/friends were out and it was really cool to be on a stage in the middle of a blocked off road with adults and families watching on. We did a set of U2 and finished off with a few non-U2 covers to please us and the crowd. We’ve made a lot of friends in Bolton over the years and found out one of our usual venues was changing ownership and not having bands anymore. Bummer! With any sort of festival or multiple band performances there’s always challenges of waiting for the previous band to remove their equipment from the stage so you can get on and setup. No matter how hard you try, start times are always just guidelines. The truth is you never really have enough time to get things just right and typically the first couple songs suffer from a sound point of view as the soundman is doing a soundcheck on the fly.
Hey Woods, pull up my pants!
The following night Neon Nostalgic headlined the Wasaga Beach Ribfest. Out of all the Ribfest’s I’ve been to or performed at, this one had the best sound by far! It will be next to impossible to top it. Not only was the sound great, but they had a video screen backdrop so that we could display our live video dance party as part of the show. Everybody loved it and everything went as planned except for my wardrobe mishap. Unfortunately I totally forgot to bring a belt and with the IEM pack and wireless pack on my pants, they started falling down. Literally the end of every song I had to pull them up for fear they would fall right down. Special thanks to our buddy Woods for helping me out when I yelled out “Hey Woods, pull up my pants!”
The next weekend Neon Nostalgic performed at a private birthday party in the Beaches in downtown Toronto. This is a cool place called the Beach House. The owner LOVES the 80’s and plays music videos through the TV’s and speakers throughout the bar. The crowd was right into it and this is definitely a place we’ll be back at.
As a kid I remember going to the CNE in Toronto most summers. The CNE stands for the Canadian National Exhibition and it runs for just over 2 weeks. This also marks the end of summer. I have many memories of being there with my parents and it’s something else to be on a stage performing at the very same place I remember as a kid. Neon Nostalgic performed opening weekend and unfortunately due to a strike, the regular stage crew and techs were out picketing. What did this mean? Well it meant a much longer soundcheck with the hecklers out. They wanted beer and music, and had to wait for the music part. With no backdrop it meant lining the stage with 2 x 65″ TV’s and 3 smaller monitors across the front to get the gist of what we do. It was nice to have some family there from out of town and especially have my mom in the audience. She won’t go to bars so the amount of times she can see me play is limited. She had heard about what Neon does so it was nice for her to see the show. Of special mention Scarecrow – a John Cougar Mellancamp tribute band opened up for us. I remember when Elevation played a festival with them 14 years earlier. It was great catching up with them!
To round out the month, Elevation played at Goudy Park in Wayne, Michigan to close out the concert in the park summer series. This was a great gig with great crowd interaction and a very tight-knit community. It was also one of those “turn & burn” type gigs where you drive in, play the gig and then drive back home the same night. Getting in at 3am when you have to be at work the next morning is never fun but sometimes it comes with the tettority.