November 7, 2021
The Historic Ironwood Theatre
Check out the TOUR page for all venue and ticket information for upcoming dates.
Music is about a lot of things. Textbooks, teachers, and universities will never run out of something to teach about the art of making, creating, reading, understanding, and appreciating music. Be it to say you could learn everything about music in two lifetimes would still be far from the truth. There are so many magical things about the art of music. One of the most intriguing and unique truths about music is that you will never absorb it all, and there will always be something to learn. But know this, you can take all of the centuries of acquired knowledge about the art of music and condense it down into one word. That word is 'connection.' Music is about connection, pure and simple - physical, emotional, and spiritual. Music is about connecting with your instrument, connection with your emotions, connection with your spirit, and connection with God. But I feel, most importantly, a connection with another human being and your audience.
The changes in everyone's lives brought on by Covid-19 are many. I feel one of the most significant changes is that most of us now have a more profound respect for human connection—especially musicians who perform in front of an audience for a living. Many musicians such as myself enjoyed the technical progress made by being able to do 'live streaming' concerts during the lockdown. Many of us were lucky enough to make new fans, connections, and even some money. When it is all said and done for the audience and musician alike; however, there is nothing like performing in front of a live audience and connecting with people, and when you tour, you can meet a lot of people. It is important musicians take the time to get to know and appreciate the people who allow them to make music for them.
We first played The Historic Ironwood Theatre in 2019 in the dead of winter. I will never forget it because I trudged around through the snow and ice, taking many photos of the small tourist town covered in about 6 feet white. None of us could believe that anyone would venture out to see us perform on a night like that, but bless the Disco Ball Gods, they sure did, and they all had a fantastic time.
This time around, there was not a snowflake in sight (no political jab intended.) The sky was clear, and low and behold, it wasn't freezing cold! Which meant I could now walk around town without freezing my arse off. Bruce, the stage manager, showed me around the large dressing room area downstairs, and then I grabbed my headphones, put on my coat, and headed out the door for a long walk. You would have to be living under a rock to know that ABBA has a new album out. It is entitled 'Voyager,' and it is their first album in 40 years. I have not mentioned it up until now because this is a huge event, and I have A LOT to say about it. I promise to get to it in great detail in a future blog. But for now, it would be my soundtrack as I walked around Ironwood, breathing in the crisp cool air and finally getting some outdoor exercise. It felt so great to walk alone outside, get some exercise, listen to music again, and new ABBA music at that!!!
At the end of my walk, I was not ready to go inside yet, so I took a seat in the new park across from the venue to relax and enjoy the day when a man I did not recognize at first came up to me. It turned out to be Vic Calore. Vic is responsible for bringing ABBA MANIA to The Ironwood Theater in 2019 and again today in 2021. He is a huge fan and a great guy. We became better friends over Facebook after our show in 2019, and it was great to see him again in person and spend some one-on-one time with him catching up. Later that afternoon, I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting his lovely wife, Zona. Zona and Vic had gone to great pains to bring us an incredible lunch and dinner. Entirely homemade Italian and some of the best food we have had on the tour. I can still taste it. Their conversation was just as wonderful as the food, so I want to send one more big thank you to Vic Calore and his wife Zona for making me and the rest of the band feel so much at home and for giving so much of themselves to us during the short time we were there.
Ok, I have mentioned this before, but I will no longer have to discuss it with any luck. Even though we had made headway during our last sound-check, we were still having difficulties with our in-ear monitor situation, making performing to the best of our ability more difficult than it should be. So Sean, our very talented and committed sound guy, all had us hunker down one last time for a long sound-check to beat the technical gremlins to death for good. I am sure it has already crossed your mind that this blog is going rather long, so I will make it short and give you the good news. Sean fixed it! The girls were happy! I was happy! The band was happy, and everything was finally working as expected! God bless the Gods in White Satin! Tonight's show would rock! And rock, it did! We even had an incredibly hip organist open up for us on the 100-year-old organ that has been a part of the theater since it was built. I was exercising with Hana on-stage, and right before I left to get dressed, he went into a swinging old-time version of 25 to 6 to 4 by Chicago. You don't hear that every day.
Ok, to wrap things up here, the show went great, our in-ears sounded perfect, and the audience loved us. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to say goodbye to Vic and Zona after the show, but that is just life on the road some time. I feel confident we will return, and when we do, I am sure there will be an ample supply of great food, conversation, and music to be shared. Turn the page....