Last night I played the Rockwood Music Hall with Ross Byron. Granted, 11pm on a Monday evening is not considered prime time for a performing rock band, but we had a nice crowd that really appreciated what we were playing. They were mostly new faces that asked us after if we were playing again anytime in the near future. Always nice.

Here are some pictures from the show:

Created with flickr slideshow.

An interesting thing happened during the set. A crowd of 10 or so people came in. They did not come specifically to see us or any other band on the bill. They were out and about, looking to have a good time. From what one person told me, they were in town from Chicago. While there is nothing that a musician appreciates more than an enthusiastic crowd, said musician can also recognize the difference between the crowd that loves what is being played and the crowd that is just interesting in gyrating about to some form of sound. A few members of this group fell into the latter category.

During a ballad, a gentleman kept motioning in my direction. He was plucking along with an imaginary bass, air-bassing if you please. While I enjoyed his enthusiasm, he kept bobbing furiously and thumping his index finger harder against his imaginary strings. Clearly he wanted me to play something more aggressive. At first I demurred and smiled, but when my gaze met his again, he continued on his imaginary instrument with more insistence.

Background: I have the utmost respect for an audience. People that choose to see me play could be doing anything else, especially in New York where the options are extraordinarily varied. Therefore, I owe it to any audience, whatever the size, to do my best. They are not in attendance due to some decree to witness my talent. They have chosen to attend.

This does not mean that I’m going to accommodate someone’s request to hear a new line mid-ballad. Should I just ignore the demands of the song, the expectations of my band-mates, and the integrity of everyone else’s listening experience because you want to hear a new line? I’m all for exuberance, but I was pretty annoyed.

Thankfully, he gathered that I was not about to grant his request. Also thankfully, he was able to enjoy the remainder of his evening sans new bassline.