Progress Report: Gigs #1-5

Murdock

Photo © 2010 Mike Scicolone

Hey, Rusted Hero has just released our EP, are in the process of getting t-shirts printed, and have over 250 fans on Facebook, but we’re still really just a band in our infancy. Hell, we just did our 5th show! I’ve wanted to discuss all of our past performances but didn’t want to slow down this already boring website, so I’ve compiled a few brief notes about each one in this post. Hold on to your rusty butts!

1. Otto’s Shrunken Head 11pm @ New York, NY
Our first show was just two days after finishing recording our EP in Albany. So, even though we were really nervous (ok, I was, at least) we definitely had the songs down to a science. And that’s probably a good thing because I don’t know how we got through this set. The backline equipment left a lot to be desired (I didn’t have a channel switch) and I had just changed strings the day before – so I was reeeeeaaaallly pitchy. In fact, when I finally mustered up the courage to hear the recordings from the show I found 2 of our songs absolutely unlistenable due to my out-of-tune guitar. But, the other members of the band were better than I knew (since I was just totally trying to play my parts right and didn’t hear them during the show) and the whole thing wasn’t as bad as I immediately thought. Extra special bonus kudos to Brandon who trekked up all the way from Arlington, VA to be apart of the Rusted Hero birth!
Music: 5/10
Performance: 3/10
Overall: 4/10

2. Lit Lounge 10pm @ New York, NY
This venue was the complete opposite of our first show. Where Otto’s was just a small stage in a corner of the room (so small, in fact, that I had to step off it to stop hitting Matt with my guitar), Lit was a long, thin room with a giant, raised stage at one end. We were supposed to play with 2 other bands but at the last minute we found out that BOTH had strange miscommunications with Lit Lounge and ended up booking shows elsewhere. So, even though we weren’t able to feed off (both in financial and exposure gains) from their audience we still ended up with a great crowd. I think I played the whole thing through without a mistake and sounded great thanks to a dedicated sound man and long-ass sound check. Matt complained about not being able to hear himself, but that might have been our only real gripe.
Music: 9/10
Performance: 6/10
Overall: 7.5/10

3. Arlene’s Grocery 9:30pm @ New York, NY
Arlene’s Grocery was a giant stage in a giant room connected to a huge bar. The place was big, people! Unfortunately, this place was also a total showcase venue in that fans would come out to see their band play and then immediately leave. No one was sticking around to see us and, worse, since this was our 3rd show in 5 weeks we had totally cannibalized our own audience. So, we ended putting on a private show for about 10 people (and that’s being generous). However, some good did come out of the whole debacle as Mike – a photographer friend of John’s – came out and took some awesome, professional photos of us (that’s where the picture for this post came from). Also, the entire thing was live streamed across the internet so a lot of our friends from outside of New York were able to see us (including both Stever and my mom). It was a decent show but the sound (the monitors didn’t even seem to be on so Adrien and I had to rely completely on our low-volume amps) and thin audience kind of put a sour mood into all of us.
Music:7/10
Performance: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

4. Desmond’s Tavern 9pm @ New York, NY
This night we were set to play for the first time with Manpower – a trio of Adrien’s friends. It really was a lot of fun. Desmond’s was a bit like Otto’s in that there was a small stage in the corner of the room but the atmosphere was a little more … mainstream (Otto’s has some eccentric clientele). Manpower put on a great show and so did another act touring out of Chicago, Say You Swear. Richard even made the trip up from Virginia to check out the debut of our new song, “Sick for the Cure” (and assist me in getting a giant, 4×12 into a cab and over to the venue). A great, little show with very few things to complain about (it’d be nice to have bumped up the vocals).
Music: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

5. Snug Harbor 12pm @ New Paltz, NY
Rusted Hero made the 1.5 hour trip north to New Paltz (ok, for me it was more like 4 hours due to my terrible navigational “skills”) and ended up in a cold, small college town. However, we were greeted with open arms to return the favor as opening act for Manpower. It was a birthday party for Ian, Manpower’s bassist, and everyone was in a celebratory mood (some more than others). We went on after a not-so-hot first band (they didn’t even have a drummer) and set up on an open-mic sized stage (it even had weird railings on the side). Also, I was standing on top of a heat vent so I was, of course, super wet by the end of the show (although, that’s really no different than any of the other performances). I thought we nailed everything and it was the first gig where I was in command and conscious of everything I was playing through 100% of the thing. Definitely a step in the right direction.
Music: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

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