Gig Report / Outdoor, Unplugged, Rowdy Pub

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Fountain Pen

This article is an editorial and expresses the opinion and experience of ST the author. Please post comments in the discussion page.
Thank you.

Had a REALLY interesting day with and without the L1® yesterday. (originally written October 3, 2010)
To my great delight I played three shows with my new musical friends Rio Samaya Band yesterday. Yes - they are very busy.
In the morning I drove up to a little town half-way to Whistler (Winter Games 2010 Whistler) and met Rio Samaya. Here's what happened
Three of us; Three shows: Guitars, Virtual Guitar, 10 stringed Cherianga (sp?) very similar to a Curarto, all kinds of Latin percussion instruments, PorchBoard, various wind instruments, Accordion, Vocals (3)
  1. Outside with two L1® Model IIs. The first show was outside at a Farmers' Market. Not huge but outside in the lee of a mountain. Perhaps 40 or 50 booths.
    I'm sure that we were set-up in under 15 minutes.
    We played for about four hours. It was terrific to be playing to the audience in the sitting area in front of us while people wandered by chatting, unperturbed by the volume of the music. It was nice too, to know that we could be heard all the way at the back of the market area.
    The vendors welcomed us (free food and beverages) and several made a point of telling us that they enjoyed the show. I have been at events like this where the vendors and their customers cringed and whinged about the volume of the music. This was not a problem with the L1®.
    We played at a comfortable volume level for all of us, and since we were playing by ear as we improvised it was incredibly important that we be able to pick out our parts in the monitoring experience.
    I was playing a guitar with a Roland GK pickup into a VG-88 Virtual Guitar system directly into my L1® Model II. I took this rig because I wasn't sure what parts I would be playing in the music. I ended up playing bass on the bottom two strings while doing other things (octaves, fifths, straight guitar, other virtual instruments) on the upper four. If you play a Virtual Guitar system you know what I mean.
  2. Unplugged - straight acoustic - Indoors at a retirement community - a seamless transition After a break to get settled in our hotel we did a show at a retirement community. It wasn't until after we were finished that I was able to enjoy this aspect: We had completely figured out how to play together (volume, dynamics, vocals, roles and parts in the music) while playing through our L1®s. Then we were able to seamlessly transfer that experience to an unamplified acoustic setting. We didn't have to discuss it. We didn't have to think about it. We just walked in, and did it.
    This time I was playing my Classical guitar, so I didn't have the vocabulary that the Virtual Guitar system allows, but I was able to transfer the earlier experiences of the day. It was such a natural transition that I didn' t notice until late last night after our third show (#3 below).
    On reflection - and turning this around: I think this is an incredible testament to how naturally the L1® can create that unamplified experience and share it with an audience (as we had done at the Farmers' Market).
  3. Loud and Rowdy - The Pub In the evening we played at the local hotel/pub. Guessing - this room could hold 150, maybe more.
    This was a big room with a 30 foot ceiling. They had powered speakers pointed down from the rafters into the audience area. There was a board beside the stage in the corner. This is a very loud room. Here is a shot of the stage I took this morning just before heading home.
    When we walked in there were several familiar faces from the Farmers' Market. More of those people showed up as the evening passed. It's that kind of town.
    Normally my friends use their Model II as a monitor and run a line out into the board. Because this was their first experience with using two Model IIs we decided to run without the house system. There is no direct logic to that decision. They just wanted to hear it. I was confident that we would be fine. It was.
    The comments from the staff were very positive about the sound last night: Clear, everywhere. Better than usual, without being painfully loud. Speaking of painfully loud, there was a big event going on at the other end of the hotel building. It was so loud that people were coming down to our end to dance and talk.
    My settings on the T1® were actually lower than they had been outdoors, but being inside it felt like we were just rockin'. It was REALLY interesting to watch the natural flow of the people in the room. There were several who were clearly enjoying the music and I watched them work their way up to the front of the room near the stage. There were couches and a couple of areas that felt much more like someone's livingroom than a pub.
This morning I had breakfast with my new friends and we parted company. They were driving off to their next gig about 70 miles away. They actually have two gigs today and while days like yesterday and today are not typical, they are not all that unusual for these two. Having spent this time with them I understand why they get the bookings. Next time I see them I'll have to ask them how.
Originally posted in the Bose L1® Users Forum - comments