Sunday, November 06, 2005

More concert stuff

Now for the fun part-
the doors were not supposed to open until 7:30..I was actually going to let the line build up upstairs and open things downstairs about 7:45 just for the 'buzz factor'.
Well, someone from the venue opens the door and I get a call about 7:10. Kay Wiebell from Warmspirit, who is a true lifesaver, is downstairs trying to collect money and tickets from people. I ask how many? She says about 20. I call my doorperson and tell him to send everyone upstairs. Robert takes his phone and informs him that it is no way to do this because while I have been on the phone the number has swollen to about 50 folks.
I know, I should be happy right? But here's the thing. I hate when things seem to be not where I planned on them being. Doesn't matter to me if no one else will notice, I will notice. also I had a very specific plan for the night and the table and chair setup was not where it needed to be yet.
So I get there and people are looking at me telling me not to push and I can't cut the line. Funny.

So by 8:00 we are already pushing towards that 100 count. The show is a complete sellout once it hits 150. And the line ain't going down at all.

Krate Digga is doing his thing, I put a few people where I need them and a precious few people who sowed just how cool they are with me, stepped up without my asking and got into positions to help make sure the night ran smooth. Thanks Kay, Robert, Daniel, and Chastity and Sincere, and Phaedra.

The open mic and slam list filled up 20 seconds after I placed the paper down.
Now some people wondered why do this part, the open mic and slam. Well for one I did not think people would come on time, no matter how much I stressed it. So having something to get a core group of people out early was a wise thing to do. Next, it is a poetry night. I don't care who I have there, if it is on a Tuesday night, then poetry will be involved. If the biggest complaint is ;wow that was alot of poetry' then I ain't feeling so bad.

The slam was fun and got the crowds attention. By now the number of people was over 100 and the owners were peeking downstairs and wondering how in the hell did this happen. (they did not think it could be pulled off so thanks to all of you for making it happen)

Ursula came on about 30 minutes later than planned. The whole night was about 35 minutes off schedule, which to me is a manageable timeframe and is almost exactly the same time as how early people came in before they were supposed to be able to. So it balanced out.

She and Tim gave a great show. You have to hear her live to really feel her work, though I dig the CD's. Tim is just an incredible talent. Not to many cats on his level doing what he does. alot of people started to dip out and I had to explain to Ursula the reasons, or some of them, which were-
1- some cats heard the first part of her set then left to get home.
2- some people had the whole work in the morning thing to do
3-some people came on the strength of the radio and print ads and did not know what they were getting themselves into

This to me was actually a good thing. The crowd had at one point went over the 150 count and that did not include the 40 or so people upstairs who got there too late and couldn't fit in downstairs.
It also got rid of some of the people who were quite drunk by that point.
The set became more intimate and this is still with about 70 plus people there.

When it was done, Krate spun some records and I covered the merch table while people talked and got autographs and bought product.

Looking back at it, it was a great night. I learned alot while giving the city something it usually does not get. the next one will be even more on point.

If you came out, thank you.
If you meant to and could not, thank you.
If you helped me in any way, thank you.
If you did not come out, you missed a good show.

This is only the beginning.

LOGIC, Open Mic, a few twists and normalcy

Well this one was a nice but odd night.
When you run something in any venue you are apt to get those nights with a person or two that is a bit...loud.
But when you do this in a bar type setting you up the odds for it dramatically. Doesn't mean you can't control it, just mean it is more work to do so.
This was one of those nights.
The bar has officially become "the cut"..let me explain.
In ANY venue, you have a section that some people will gravitate towards. These people will either be your loud group or ....your loud group. They want to come out and partake but darnit, they want to have their own good old time as well.
In Larry's it is the bar area and the rear (actually the front) of the spot.
At Skambo's it used to be the balcony.
At Victorian's it is the pit. (the raised spot where the couches are)
On and on.
Well for my spot it has become the bar.
No problemo batman.
That issue gets fixed this week. In a very Stewie Griffin kind of way.
Now on another note, I must say this-
I have a slight acceptance level of joking between poet and audience. You want some level of banter and a few quips ain't bad.
I have a zero tolerance policy on audience members messing with or heckling any poet. Period. You don't like them or their work, go upstairs or just be quiet till they are done and don't clap.
If you just can't help yourself and must be ignorant, you will find your self magically getting the four dollars you spent to get in back in your pocket and suddenly realize you are outside and for some reason, can't get back in. Really. This ain't for the money and it would not be the first time someone has been asked or told to leave. Hopefully it won't come to that. I don't think it will.

Now on the flip side, if a poet, (yes you reading this as a poet-poet) decides to take it upon themselves to say something to the audience, whether it be a joke, a question, an invite, swearing, threatening, something crass, calling someone out, whatever-if a poet does that then in my opinion that poet is FAIR GAME. Meaning, you asked for it you got it.

Comedians rarely mess with the heckler, they are smart enough to know that to ignore them is to kill them. Let the bouncers, owners, emcee, whomever, do their job and you do yours.
But if that comedian decides to take matters into their own hands and fails at it? Ugh. I have seen a cat walk off his own set because the heckler tore him up verbally.
So, all of that is to say, don't ask or invite trouble and then be surprised when it comes a calling.

On to the show.
LOGIC was great. Just one of the nicest guys you oculd want to be around. Damn near sold out of product. I love that part. I look forward to what happens over the course of time with these poets here as they are introduced to so many different voices.
The open mic was cool. Alot of folks.

Learned some valuable things that night. There is no cure all, no quick fix, you must keep tweaking and fine tuning until you reach the right mix. And then you must tweak some more.
My tool box overfloweth.