The last time the Shafter Big Band played for the Smooth Dancers, the stage was incredibly tiny. No, I mean really small. The bassist and I had to stand very specifically so we wouldn’t be fencing with the necks of our instruments! This time, we had a TON of room. No in-betweens in The Music Biz, I suppose! The room acoustics weren’t as bad as the last venue, but there was still a bunch of natural reverb.
Usually, I arrive very early to a performance date because of my gear setup, while most of the band just needs to show up with their horn. This time, I brilliantly got lost on the way there and had to rush in with my 64 lbs of amplification on a dolly, gig bag on my back, and guitar in hand. Most of the dancers had already arrived! I’m sure I was quite the spectacle.
Once everything was setup, it was time to play. I’ve expressed this elsewhere, but I really enjoy playing for dancers. It’s easier to feel the appreciation for what you’re doing when the audience is expressing it in physical movement!
I really felt the whole band was really on that night. The energy of many musicians working together to make something memorable is something that I really love about live performance.
And on that final note, here is a video of one of our performances that night: