How do you make something so uneventful sound monumental??? Well, I racked my blonde head and I came up with an answer...you can't. Oh but read on.
Late one evening I received and email about the Mid-West Music Summit in Indianapolis, IN. They said they were extending their deadline for entries so you have another chance to submit! I looked at their website and decided it was worth my $26 to send in a package. They boasted that "for one weekend Indianapolis would be the epoch of the music world!" similar to NYC's CMJ and Austin's SXSW. Needless to say I was happy to hear that we had been chosen to play the summit and what's more we were slotted for a Saturday night at Radio Radio which by their account was the best rock club in town. Steve Lamm Steve Lamm, our former regular guest guitarist, even decided he'd come along and guest guitar one more time.
Though none of us initially realized, Indy is only about 300 miles from Nashville. 'Odd', we thought, 'that we had never played there.' In fact we couldn't remember any other local band ever talking about playing there. We thought we must not have been paying attention.
The Mid-West Music Summit people told us that they were working on backline for the show, but it wasn't a guarantee. For those of you not fluent in Rock 'n' Roll, "backline" means the club provides drums, bass amp and cabinet, and sometimes guitar amp and cabinet. This is used mostly in showcase situations where there are many bands playing the same stage in one night and therefore sets must be changed quickly. This was a big deal to us though. If we had backline we could take 2 cars. If not, we would have to rent a van. This meant big bucks.
After asking everyone we knew (including our Nashville fan base) for transportation ideas, the club finally let us know that backline would be provided. We fine tuned our set, had a cool stage prop built, and made our final transportation arrangements. J.T. and Kim At the last minute Kim forgot that that was the weekend she was supposed to go to Memphis with her husband and our former bassist, Edwin. She decided she'd have to drive back from Memphis to Nashville early Saturday morning and then drive to Indianapolis. Urg.
This was Emmy's first showcase and real roadtrip with us. She was even gracious enough to drive "Fergie" - her jeep. Good thing, because the "box" (our new stage prop) wouldn't fit in anyone else's car. We packed everything in and set out to meet our 4:00PM load in time that supposedly was going to be strictly enforced.
Upon arriving in Indy we easily found the club and was greeted with a "no load in" sign on the locked door. Just great. Lucklily there was a cool 50's style soda shop next door where we chowed down and drank chocolate malts. After going to and from the hotel Kim and company met us at the same cool soda shop. Steve and EmmyThe real surprise came when Emmy's parents showed up all the way from Kansas City, MO! That's about a 10 hour drive.
We weren't scheduled to go onstage until 10:15PM, but the club was unnervingly empty. The closer showtime came the emptier it seemed. The first band went on very late which pushed everybody back. We didn't care - maybe we'd have a crowd by then. Only drag was we had to cut "Giving Up & Letting Go" out of our set. Well, not the only drag. We realized the stage was just too small to put up our box. All that trouble!
Emmy And KimWe all glammed up in the bathroom then Kim had her pre-show martini while Emmy sat with her parents and we listened to the first band, Molly. Our turn came and our show went relatively smoothly except for my acoustic guitar falling off it's new stand TWICE!!! Every time I looked over at Emmy's parents they seemed to be grimmacing...
After the show I realized what I had suspected. No industry people in attendance. Damn. That's why you play these shows! On the other had Emmy's mom and dad actually liked us. They said they looked at the three girls on stage and thought "there's someone for everyone!." Soon after we said our goodbyes to them Audrawe started our traditional tequila shots followed by stage diving. Once enough drivers sobered up we made our way to the Waffle & Steak next to the hotel. Well...Emmy and I made it after a while. We kind of got a little lost...
The way back was riddled with corn fields and traffic jams. I promised myself I would not enter any more of these stupid showcases where you drive across the country and spend your life savings to play in a little town in a club 1/2 full of people who don't really care. Haven't I learned my lesson? Haven't I paid my dues already? I could have sworn I've paid my dues and Christina Aguliera's. On one good note, I did get to hear some juicy details of Emmy's love life. That made it worth it...
Do I sound bitter?
What I thought then... and what I think now.
Mid-West Music Summit