I just got back from my first mini-tour with Edensong. We did 3 shows in 3 days - travelled to Bennington, VT; Brighton, MA; and Lowell, MA.
It was a really neat weekend and experience. We didn't really get to explore the towns too much (at least not my group of people). Friday we left a bit later than we wanted & the weather was just awful (there was even snow up in Vermont where we stayed later that night). The car ride was quite a challenge, I was rather car-sick (but thankfully not to the point of vomiting). The South Side Cafe was very cool, friendly and very welcoming. There were probably about 10 folks (the weather was really not on our side for this), but they all seemed to really enjoy it and be genuinely interested. It was a complete contrast from New York where everything is constricted and stressed and everyone is jaded ... this was very peaceful and at ease. Most importantly, they had *great* hot chocolate :-P ... Friday night was just James & I. That was the first time we've ever done the music in that setting & we hadn't had a chance to rehearse it at all beforehand, but it worked very well, and I've got some definite ideas on things to improve.
So that was Friday ... Saturday we travelled to Brighton & got to our host's house a few hours before the show ... we took the time to relax & eat. James had a meeting ... eventually we got to the venue and loaded everything in. The Magic Room was a *very* cool place ... it's this really awesome, fantastical art venue with a ton of cool paintings. It had the neatest vibe, though the room was a bit small for our sound. Kangaralien (an amazing acoustic guitar duo) opened up the night (http://www.kangaralien.com). Our Magic Room set was electric & it was the first time we'd done an hour and a half set (basically every single Edensong tune except The Baptism). There were definitely some kinks, but the energy was there & I think the stuff we did well came off really well ... of course, I haven't had a chance to watch the video yet ... I have no idea what it sounded like out in the audience (well, I have some idea ... but no real idea). By the time that was all done & we were unloaded, all we could really do was head back to our host and get some sleep!
Then it was sunday ... Sunday we got some great breakfast at The Mirror Cafe in Brighton (check it out if you ever go up there - good food!). After breakfast, we headed over to the Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus in Lowell. It's a really nice independent coffee shop & we had the privilege of getting to watch Rob Martino (http://www.robmartino.com) play a solo Chapman Stick set, which was really, really cool. It was amazing to watch him in action & he's an incredibly friendly guy. Our set this time was the standard acoustic version with me, James, Tony & Barry (that's cello, guitar, flute & drums) & really came across very well. There's something of a purity in playing in an acoustic setup that is completely missing from playing electric (but there's also an energy and intensity from playing electric that doesn't make its way into playing acoustic). It was nice to be able to do both in one weekend.
I've forgotten to share one of the most important parts of my weekend, which is that I got to play a Harp for the first time!!! It was amazing and beautiful and I've fallen in love with it & it will make its way to the next Edensong album. I really wish I could buy one of these things ... until then, I guess I'll just have to really work on my piano skills & on developing a good ability to handle multiple unique voices at once.
So that's it for my weekend ... we listened to some Dream Theater & Symphony-X & Blackfield during the car rides & all in all it was a great experience! I learned a lot from a playing stand-point & started to develop a closer relationship with the music, as well as gaining a better sense of the balance between technique & rocking out. It was a challenge to play 3 days in a row completely unwarmed up (one of the most important things a musician has to be able to do).
Can't wait to do it all again in December when we hit Baltimore/DC in early December!!!