Anatomy of Gig Day

12:30 am: Get home from from previous night’s show. Unload bass, pedal board, and amp head, with the rationalization that anybody who breaks into my car to steal 200lbs of bass cabinets (worth $150) needs bass cabinets more than I do.

12:45 am: Still wide awake. Eat gigantic bowl of Lucky Charms and watch funny videos on the internet.

1:30 am: Go to sleep.

6:00 am: Wake up with pounding rock star headache (combination of lack of sleep, VERY LOUD NOISES, and dehydration). This is not a hangover. I will continue to tell myself this all day.

9:00 am: On site at work fixing server issue; the only thing keeping me going is the knowledge that I’m closing at noon so I can fit in a nap before having to fight traffic for a 5:00pm load in and sound check.

2:45 pm: Finally close up shop, having missed lunch trying to finish up the day’s workload. Realize I’m going to have to come in to the office on Sunday to get caught up.

3:30 pm: Get home, inhale a sandwich, answer a client email, verify that load in and sound check are still at 5:00, and decide I have time for a nap.

4:15 pm: Wake up from twenty minute nap, load car, check traffic, and head up to the club.

4:45 pm: 35W northbound is reduced from five lanes to two because of an accident. Call band, who are all stuck in same traffic jam. Laugh as I see my drummer driving next to me.

5:30 pm: Arrive at club. Parking for the evening is $20. Drive around block, cursing Minneapolis’ system of one way streets, before finally parking illegally in alley like everyone else.

5:40 pm: Am informed that there will be no sound checks tonight because the private function in the club, booked from 6-8 pm, started early. Four bands proceed to load gear into a 3 ft wide hallway.

6:00 pm: Drive home to eat dinner and pick up wife.

6:30 pm: Dinner waiting for me at home. I love my wife.

7:30 pm: Drive back into Minneapolis for the show. Get a call from guitar player on the way up; they have found cheaper parking a block away from the club. Also informed that there is one slot left on the guest list, which they put my wife on. Try to recall how many people I promised I would put on the list. Give up at five.

8:00 pm: Arrive at club for load in and sound check. Private function is going long. We are escorted into the basement green room, where there will be complimentary beer. There is no beer.

8:15 pm: Load gear onstage. Told we will not be sound checking. Five minutes later, informed we will be sound checking. Can’t find singer or drummer. Assemble everybody on stage and run through a tune. Giggle at how having a 6×10 backline and monitors makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a bass sandwich.

8:30pm: Grab a beer from the bar, go to talk to friends who have arrived. Ponder the fact that I have several circles of friends and acquaintances (Jabberboard, bands, work, college) that have either never met, or possess bizarre degrees of separation. Awkwardly juggle time between all of them.

8:55 pm: Head down to the green room to grab a few beers (which have now arrived) and get our game faces on.

9:00 – 9:45 pm: RAWK OUT. Have to make critical decision between songs about which is more important: tuning, or drinking beer. As the set continues, the latter takes precedence.

9:46 pm: Already have gear offstage, because rule #1 of a multi-band show is when you’re done playing, get that shit off stage like it’s ON FIRE.

10:00 pm: Talk with friends in that rare and fleeting time between when you’re done playing and the next band starts, as to avoid having to shout into each others ears.

11:15 pm: After listening to the second band’s entire set, decide to call it a night after a few songs into the third band’s set. Go to get car.

11:20 pm: While pulling out of the parking lot, many police arrive and shut down the entire block in front of the club. Drive wrong way down one way, pull into secured lot behind club, getting yelled at entire time by parking security. Get in shouting match with attendant while loading gear. Also, it’s raining.

12:00 am: Arrive at Perkins. Share a chicken sandwich with your #1 (and your future #2) fans. Realize how lucky you are.

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