The Field in Bridgeport, CT did a few things that made me really enjoy playing. First, they provided food and beverage, which a number of places do, but it is always nice to get as a working musician.

Second, they had a dedicated stage area. It was a set of risers that rose about six inches from the ground, but that little half-foot makes a huge difference. There is something about a stage that draws people away from the television set and into the music scene. As a musician, it is nice to “rise to the occasion”, corny as it may sound, it makes a little mental difference.

Finally, due to Connecticut state laws, they had a definitive closing time. The stage was set up in the dining area after dinner hours and once the dining tables were cleared away. This ensured a hard start time (not, “Hey, start whenever…”) and a final call, closing the bar time. This meant the gig did not continue until the last person left, or until we ran out of songs. Once final call was made, the final song was played. I enjoy an all-night jam as much as the next guy, but I prefer it to be an exception instead of the rule.

On this particular gig, I was playing my part as first-alternate with Moonspank. On the few gigs I’ve done with them in the past, it was a one set affair. This time, I played a full two sets. It was really great.

Most groups I work with employ a guitarist/singer. While Dave does play a few songs on guitar, he is primarily a singer/frontman. It makes a huge difference in the way the audience is engaged. Aside from the freedom to walk into the crowd with a microphone, Dave is able to provide personal contact with audience members. Unencumbered by an instrument, he does not have to worry about navigating through a throng or accidentally bumping someone with his headstock. Though other singers I work with are able to overcome this inconvenience to a degree, there is a big difference when someone just has a microphone. On the few occasions when I have had to take the microphone without an instrument, I’ve felt naked. There is very little between me and the audience, making me feel all the more vulnerable.

The show went very well. Todd was able to run sound and provide lighting. Alex Violette played the soprano sax. John the Elder joined on guitar for a few tunes. Dino was on keys and guitar. The rest of the Spank boys, Greg, Dave, and Anthony, were excellent, as always.

Here are few pictures from the show:

Created with flickr slideshow.