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Friday, September 15, 2017

Chrome Dreams III

Last week, I got a tooth infection. I had previously had an infection in the same lower wisdom tooth back in August. It was really bad, and I had to get some antibiotics to take care of it, or I would be on the floor all day in tremendous pain. This was all after I got a filling for it last year too. Anyway, the day after the infection started, September 8th, I was scheduled to play a show at Brillobox.

The show was called Chrome Dreams III; it was a tribute night to Neil Young, who had been gravely ill when it was put together much earlier in the year. I had been set to play for a while, but the show did not get booked right away. Even when it did get booked, I wasn't sure what to do. I had asked my bandmates if they wanted to play the show but had not gotten a response. It might have just got lost in our giant morass of Facebook messages. I figured I would just do it myself then. Eventually, when the show was definitely happening, I asked my bandmates again. Dan didn't want to commit to doing the show, but Laura was into it. Then we didn't practice the songs for a while because we had all of these other shows to practice for. We practiced once, just the two of us, and then again after we added my friend Mark on bass to fill in the sound with all the soloing going on. We did that one more practice, and that's it. It seemed like something Young would do himself, so I was okay with this outcome.

The problem was that I only had a few ibuprofens left and no antibiotics for the night of the show. I had to see my dentist, but they aren't open on Fridays. Too bad for me. We were doing it anyway, and it would fine, right?

Well Laura, Mark, and I got to Brillobox early. We were on time, but when we arrived, only the promotor was there and maybe a few other people. We got everything set up and waited. My mouth felt terrible.


Once people arrived, Jim Storch played first. He played his three songs on a ukulele, as he has been doing for a while now. I hope to see his improv Burnout Warcry again sometime. I don't like ukuleles, but he plays with such an open heart that it works. Jim played "Wrecking Ball", which was beautiful in its scarce sparseness laid open. Next, he played "Round and Round (It Won't Be Long)", which I don't think I've ever heard before. He had some trouble getting through everything here, but it sounded fine. Last was "Mr. Soul". This was a strange one since it's more of a rocker. The ukulele was interesting to hear with distortion. The crowd got really loud and didn't seem to pay attention which upset me.

Sorry I'm a Vampire, the name for the band that was 2/3rds Sorry I'm Dead and 1/3rd Lil Vampires set up and started with "Mansion on the Hill" from Ragged Glory. It sounded pretty good; it was definitely very ragged. My guitar sounded kind of strange; something happened to the action the night before or something? I don't use this guitar often, and it is 50 years old. Second, we played a rockin' version of "The Needle and the Damage Done". I totally screwed up the words on this and the intro was shaky. Last was "Western Hero", or it would have been if we had gotten it off the ground. I think I screwed up the vocals mostly, but the rhythm might have been off too. I can't pinpoint what was wrong. That last one was a disaster though. We definitely should have practiced more, obviously.


My mouth was feeling a little worse than when the night started when Glowworms began their set with "Out on the Weekend", which sounded pretty good. They have a different bass player than when I last saw them. His playing seemed really subdued, but he was also playing through a Fender Bassman set up for guitar. I had to look up the next one; it was called "Revolution Blues". I'm totally unfamiliar with it, but it reminded me of a "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream". The guitar parts were up to par with Neil's himself, bursts of noise like shattered trumpets. Glowworms' final song was the one that I had wanted, the only one that I really wanted, "Like a Hurricane". They did a great job, though I wish the guitar had been less piercing at some points. Also, there was a weird problem with the amp; it kept cutting out. I tried pushing the cable in for a bit, but they got it figured out. The drums were maybe too technical. Overall, it was a great set.


My mouth was killing me, but I had to stay for the next set. The next performer was Zane, who I had gotten into a fight with years ago. I think both of us feel really stupid about it now, and I felt like I owed it to him to see him play. I didn't know he even played any instruments. He seemed a little shy and told us a little of his own self-growth. Zane sounded almost exactly like Neil Young; he just played acoustically and it was awesome, a voice from a misty dream singing "Bad Fog of Loneliness". Like Jim's set, this was everything laid bare. Next was "Old Man" and finally "Peace of Mind". My favorite part was when he stopped for a second, remembered a word, and immediately started again. That's some real rock 'n' roll stuff. The last song kept going on for a while too long, but the crowd really needed to shut up a bit too. It's hard to make out Zane's voice or guitar on my recording, but it was a great set. It made me feel okay to leave the show on that note; the pain in my mouth was too much.

I felt terrible, but my friend Ron helped me get home with his car. It would have been pretty bad if I had had to walk. I was disappointed to miss the rest of the show, but I did get to see a cool video of Big Splash playing "Powderfinger". It was good. The next day I rushed to a different dentist and was able to get some medicine. I had my tooth taken out this week on Tuesday. It's just healing up now. It seems like Chrome Dreams III went over pretty well too.

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