Miguel, BA3 and I are waiting for our shuttle pickup to take us from Puyallup, WA back to the SEATAC airport, and then home to Kansas City. We performed as a Songwheels trio this weekend on the Outpost 47 stage at the Washington State Fair. My friends, it ruled!!! But, the nerves of no-set-list didn’t really set in for us until it was just a few moments before downbeat. Scanning the audience, knowing full well that the opening moments of a show are critical. Setting the tone, setting the vibe, setting the energy. To start confident but not cocky. To leave just enough mystique that the audience is intrigued for more. All this is at stake. We’re professional musicians for events, so this magic is our responsibility.
So of course we opened with the Wagon Wheel song. lol
And yes, it crushed. I even worked in some material about Alaska, which went over extra well with the proximity to Washington. Most of Alaska jokes start falling flat the further south we venture in the continental US (known as the LOWER 48 in AK). Regardless, jumping up on top of sub speakers on honking on a harmonica is generally good fuel for a show.
Miguel and I were shocked how well the interactive request system energized the audience. So many requests came in that we simply picked what was the most fun. As professional musicians for events, we are constantly making decisions about the best flow for the night. Quickly, the new problem was fitting in as much material as we could within 90 minutes.
Some really great moments included inviting as many folks as we could to dance to Fat Bottom Girls by Queen, and then watching everybody go wild for Jump by Van Halen. Once Jump began, the dance floor was packed, and Miguel and I knew that we shouldn’t keep our foot on the gas pedal for the rest of the night. BA3 kept the same tempo for a medley of All The Small Things by Blink 182, Mr. Brightside by The Killers, and The Middle by Jimmy Eat World.
Once you’ve got that much energy on the dance floor, you’re really managing bodies and movement. So yes, sometimes professional musicians for events will actually start being gym class teacher, and the whole event looks like Physical Education. Nice.
I decided to check in with the Community app we use for managing requests, and was thrilled to see so many happy reviews. Check them out below!!