So we’ve been talking about the Carpenter Brut show, and when we last left off, it was the day of the said show.
Before I get started, I want you to know that you will be able to see the performance in full this Friday! You can see a teaser for it right here:
Be sure to subscribe on my YouTube channel so you don’t miss it!
OK, to the story at hand.
I arrive at the venue, and I can’t figure out where to park. Lo and behold, there’s a long haired gentlemen wearing a Carpenter Brut hoodie standing around, so I ask him, he respond in a VERY French accent. So now I’m SURE he’s with the CB crew.
I walk into the building, and it’s a beehive of activity. Bartenders are cleaning glasses, a lights crew is setting up a massive projector for Carpenter Brut, and I have no idea who to talk to.
I grab someone and say “I’m Vampire Step-Dad?” as if I wasn’t 100% sure of that fact. This is when things get very surreal.
A little backstory: My history is in punk and metal. I’ve been in one band or another for the past 20 years. Small bands, not much success. When you’re playing shows in a band like this, half the time the fact that you even exist seems to be an annoyance to people that run venues. Communications tend to be short and lacking information. They tell you to get to a venue 4 hours early, because they have so many bands that show up late, and then when you DO show up at their specified time, they’re annoyed because they weren’t ready for you yet. (“I didn’t expect anyone for another couple of hours.”) You load in, set up your gear, the sound guy who looks just out of high school gives you a half-assed soundcheck, full of sighs and sarcastic comments like “Is that how you want your guitar to sound?” Then, you play your heart out, and at the end of the night, the promoter disappears and you don’t get paid, or you DO find them, and they have some excuse about how they can’t afford to pay you tonight. (Long story short, support local music, kids!)
But that’s not how things played out at Terminal West. Oh no. This is a REAL venue. As soon as I told them who I was, there were two people out at my car, helping me unload things. They made several trips. They even brought in my merch box. This was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I’m used to not even having a door held for me. This was unheard of. They even asked if I needed a table for my merch and provided a table cloth for me. What kind of crazy alternate universe had I been sucked into?
When they mentioned that they would be feeding me too, I said, “Um…you know I’m the local act, right?” Didn’t phase him one bit. “We aim to please” he said with a smile.
The net affect of all this was to actually make me feel more like I had no business being there. “Impostor Syndrome”, they call it. The fear that people will figure out you have no idea what you’re doing. That was me.
So we started getting set up on stage and I realized I’d made a stupid mistake and forgotten EIGHT cables. That was the first and only time I saw the production manager drop the “we aim to please” facade and look like “This guy is an idiot.” Now I felt much more at home.
None the less, they continued to do amazing work and in no time I was hearing my music louder than I’d ever heard it before. Hearing my bass parts come out of a 24 inch speaker was a dream I didn’t know I even had. Let me tell you, when you hit a note on a keyboard, and you feel it in your chest…that’s a powerful feeling.
Once we were all set up, Steve and I played through a couple tunes and that led into the worst part of the night.
With all the instruments set up, the merch table ready, my friends ready to film, I suddenly had nothing to do except wait. And think. About how everything could go wrong.
So that was real healthy.
I tried to eat something, but after a single bite I realized it would be better to not have anything on my stomach to throw up. Better to dry heave before the set than blow chunks on my nice sweater.
So I spent the rest of the time pacing around, seeing other people look at me with an expression that was a mix of “are you excited?” and “are you about to die?” At the time, the answer seemed to be a resounding “YES” to both.
Damn, I can be real wordy, huh? At this rate I’m going to make a story about a single day into a novel. Tell you what, I’ll stop this one here, and on Friday I’ll finish the story just in time for you to see the video. Sound good?
Alright, that’s it for now. Go finish up your homework.
Vlad, your Vampire Step-Dad