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GIG REPORT - LIFE IS DRAMA @ Uptown Tap (Plainfield)


(@tommy-guns)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 314
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This past Saturday night I filled in for my friends in the band LIFE IS DRAMA @ Uptown Pub (Plainfield IL). They called me on Monday asking if I could fill in for them for some upcoming gigs (7/4, 7/9, 7/16). I said sure, I sent them a list of music I've played in other bands and told them to let me know when they wanted to rehearse to go over the material. Later that night they asked me if I could possibly play this Sat night too b/c their guitar player quit and refused to play anymore gigs. Ok, so they emailed me a list of songs they wanted me to learn and a list of songs they would learn. This would all come together on Wed night for rehearsal and we'll see how it all sounds and go from there. I took Tuesday off and worked on learning songs and remembering how to play songs I haven't played in a year or 2 for 6 ½ hours. Every song I've learned for bands in the past I've written down the chord progressions (Verse/Chorus/Bridge) & leads (modes/Pent patterns used) on 3x5 index cards and I have them all alphabetized by artist for easy reference. On Weds night we got together and we played through each song just one time. If it sounded pretty good (little mistakes) we kept it on the set list for Sat. The others, if we were playing different lines or whatever we just dropped it and moved on. Overall we had 35 or so songs for Sat night. On Thurs they narrowed down the set list and emailed it to me and I crammed practice time Thursday/Friday nights each for a couple more hours. Overall I felt pretty good going into Sat night's gig. :D

On Sat afternoon I had band practice with Wildeye from 200pm (last one before our 6/25 gig) and I got home about 6:30 or so. The band told me load in time for tonight's gig was 8:30pm and the gig is an hour away so I have time. At 6:50 I get a call, they just re-read the contract and it said load in time was 7:30...ok, I guess I'll leave now then. So when I got there the band was already there and about half way set up and Tom Serb (Noteboat) was sitting right up front. He introduced himself and I told him I'll set up, get situated and come back to talk before we start. Tom & I had a great conversation and he said I was turning into a real “journeyman” guitar player, getting all these gigs with different bands and working as much as I have been (NICE :D ). Hadn't thought about it much (been busy playing) but yes I guess that's kind of true. I have to add that I'm just in the early stages of a being a “journeyman” though. I feel completely at ease playing with anyone at this point & I can improvise leads when needed but I still feel like I need to work on my improvizational skills. On Sat night that came into play when we were playing a song I thought the other guitar player played the lead on so I didn't worry about learning it for the gig. Well, during this song I'm looking at the other guitar player and he has the bass guitar around his neck & the bass player already stepped off the stage (he didn't know the song). Ready??? Sure, I guess ITS ALL ME then!!! So I just improvised until the singer came back in and we continued on with the song. :D

Tom stayed for the first set and I think I had 2 leads during that set “Have A Nice Day” & “Sweet Child O' Mine” (no pressure ). I have to REALLY concentrate during that intro and here's Tom's early review from the first set:

Early review - I caught the first set. Got to spend about 45 minutes talking to Tommy before they started; he's a really nice guy.

I understand they'd only rehearsed once or twice. But they were really tight. The sound was good (with the exception of the crash cymbals; the room made the highs really stand out too much). The singer has some presence, and all the band members seem to be having a good time playing together.

Tommy is an excellent rhythm guitarist - tight, focused, and precise. He took a few leads, the first one on "Have a Nice Day", a bit on "Summer of '69", and on the last tune of the set, "Sweet Child of Mine". He's a competent lead guitarist too - I'd work with him anytime.

The rest of the set was a mix of classic rock. I've been trying to catch at least one band a week, and these guys are among the best I've seen recently. Catch them if you can!

THANKS TOM!!!

The 2nd set went well and the 3rd had some rough spots (we saved the more shaky tunes for the end) and I remember one tune we got lost in playing it but we figured our way out of it. Mix those types of songs with ones we REALLY played well like Sugarland's “Stuck Like Glue” and the crowd forgets about the last one :D . I think at our peak we had 50ppl there which was a decent night and their fans had nothing but nice things to say about “the new guy” & posted nice comments on the band's Facebook page too :D . Since Slightly Offensive is short a drummer now and not gigging anytime soon I'm hoping to secure the slot in this band. I'm scheduled to play 3 more gigs with them over the next 4 weeks and I texted the drummer that “maybe I can get an audition with the band after I get done filling in for these gigs?” So we'll see (fingers crossed).

This Saturday (6/25) I'm playing w/my first real “working” band WILDEYE. I joined Wildeye back in 2006 and played with them until 2007 when we disbanded due to scheduling issues. This is a “reunion” show, at Deer Creek Recreational Park (Plainfield). Campground gigs are REALLY FUN to play at!!! These crowds LOVE live bands!!! We haven't played out together since 2007 and we've been rehearsing for this gig for a couple months now so I'm pretty stoked about this gig!!! We'll be playing most of the old tunes we used to do (Classic Rock, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Bob Segar etc).

Thanks for reading/commenting & KEEP ROCKIN' !!!!

Tommy Gunz

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!


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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Yep, I read it, haven't been following all of your changes and new career opportunities for awhile. That's a great review, and good work by you! Nice to have a new band that works together so well, be able to fill in too, with more potential ahead! :D

Congrats on the fine solo work Sweet Child O' Mine Intro where you're either hung out to dry or it's up to you to rock it! YES!

Oh and have a good reunion with Wildeye, it will be fun, I don't know, more fun for you or the happy outdoor crowd, everybody wins. Break a leg!

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@tommy-guns)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 314
Topic starter  

Thanks Blu Jay!!! Yes, I'm more at ease playing the solos in Sweet Child O' Mine than the intro where your REALLY just out there in the wind. I think I can count on one hand how many times I've played the intro perfectly but I usually hit a dead note in there somewhere. My proudest moment playing that song was back when I was playing @ Papa T's w/Ugoddawanna and 2 of their previous guitar players come walking in. Man...I REALLY nailed the intro and just RIPPED UP the solo!!! I even impressed our singer so much she commented about it too. THAT was a great moment & everytime I play it I always think back to that time & try to do it again :D

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!


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(@apache)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 301
 

Wow - its all been change for you, but it sound slike it is looking good! Plus to play so well together after such a short amount of rehearsal time is testament to your skill levels - nice one!

:D


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(@tommy-guns)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 314
Topic starter  

Thanks Apache!!! Yes there's been a lot of changes recently but change = challenges/growth too so I'm looking forward to growing as a guitar player & get a good reputation in the musician circle here & see what opportunities that brings. :D

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!


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