Saturday night, we played a place in Bon Aqua, TN called Dillinger's Hideout. It's next door to Dillinger's Motorcycles, a sales and service shop specializing in Harleys. Our band is split geographically, guitarist/singer and I live north of Nashville, drummer and other guitarist lives west of Nashville, a little over an hour from me. This gig was in their neck of the woods, so it was a bit of a drive. And we had too much gear to bring, so guitarist and I had to drive separate cars. We got there around 3 and set up. It took a while to get the sound right, as we had some new gear. We finally got it all good to go, so we went down the street for a pre-show dinner.
We hit the stage right at 8pm, played our first 2 songs back to back and as we ended, we heard very sparse clapping. There weren't a whole lot of people there. Apparently, the night before they had their monthly wet t-shirt contest and the fair was in town, so the regulars had either already spent their money on Friday night or were at the fair. We soldiered on through the 1st set, making the decision to skip "Feel Like Making Love" based on the crowd demographic at the time time. It was extremely hot on the stage and I was regretting that my leather bracelet I normally wear on my right wrist had broken, as it usually acts as a sweat band. As we were about to start our last 2 of the set, our drummer said he needed a break as he was getting a cramp in his leg. He was drinking gatorade like it was going out of style, but couldn't keep hydrated.
We came back and ran through our 2nd set and the reactions got a little better. The lady that owns and runs the place (her husband runs the Harley shop) and the bartender danced some and got a few of the patrons out on the floor for a few songs. Most people were there to shoot pool and drink beer. We had originally planned 3 sets, but with skipping a few and worrying about our drummer's legs, we decided to make the 3rd set 2 shorter sets and include the few we had skipped. Plus it was only 9:45 and we were supposed to play til 11:30.
We came back for our 3rd set and the response got better. By this point, there were some new people in there and more couples. A couple came out and danced to a few and then a new group showed up and they stayed on the dance floor the rest of the night. During our last set, the owner handed us a note asking if we could play a party there on the 21st ( a Friday night). We knew going in to this type of place that some Lynyrd Skynrd would be required. The previous week, we talked about it and started jamming on Freebird. I didn't know it, but just watched guitarist that did and picked up the progression. We actually did a pretty good version of it for a first run through. Saturday, we had played all of our songs and someone yelled out "Lynyrd Skynyrd!", so we threw it on 'em. It took me a couple of passes to remember the 1st chord progression. It only clocked in at 8 minutes, but we tore it up. Both guitarist went to town on the leads, swapping a few times and then going into the twin lead section. We had to communicate the stops visually because none of us really knew the structure. It got a great reaction out of the crowd that was still there. By this point, it was 11:45, so we thanked them and started breaking down.
We talked to the owners and they said Fridays have been a lot busier for them and they want us to come back on a Friday. They said they had gotten a lot of calls from people last week asking who we were, so they think some people didn't come out because they didn't know who we were or what we played. They said that people will be talking about our show and more will show up. Our deal was to play for the door money ($5 a head) and we ended up making $35 a piece. Once I added up my gas, dinner, beer and soda, I think I spent about $40
. Good thing we have fun doing this! Our next 2 shows (unless we do the 21st show there) will be for $200 a night and on my side of town. Unfortunately, in Nashville there are so many people willing to play for free, there isn't much money in playing out.