Amigos for Christ

I spent a good part of the afternoon at the Amigos for Christ event held annually in Duluth. Outback Steakhouse donated food for the event, as they apparently do every year. There was also some food being served up by a Nicaraguan family, though I had neither. It was pretty hot to be eating hot foods, and I was very busy following Balthazar around the grounds. Mostly keeping him away from the pond. Within our first 10 minutes on the premise, Balthazar jumped into the dill weed covered pond without a concern for buoyancy, He had none, as it were, and promptly sunk into the muck, which smelled of rotting plants and methane, in seconds. I was taking a picture of the pond when he careened past me. It was just not something I had expected. He’s not typically so impulsive as that. There’s usually a bit of sneaking first.

The main reason for our visit to this gala was to perform. I was invited to perform by Mike Cottemeyer of Cottenfish to play percussion for them during their 30-minute set. It’s an offer of extraordinary trust that they asked me to play. Mike had never heard play, he only heard that I did. I practiced with them once and got a feel for the type of music they’re doing. Mostly original stuff. We played at 6:00pm and a number of things that could’ve gone wrong decided not to and instead made room for some things we didn’t see coming. This would include the amp failing upon the pressing of a given effect switch pedal. It also includes the part where neither the guitarist nor the drummer can hear each other. That part kind of untied us. I’m sure it made it very interesting for the singer, Marlin, who had to pick one of us as a favorite and sing to that one. I did learn that when mic’d on drums, you’re going to need to have a studio monitor source for yourself and the other band members. At least the lead guitarist. That’s where I was looking for cues on what was happening in the song. I know it was frustrating to Mike, but I took it in stride. That’s bad, but it gives me hope that I’ve gotten that piece out of the way. My next performance like this should go a bit smoother. I’ll also know better how to arrange ourselves. I can’t imagine what it must be like when you’re in a trap set behind some plexi-glass with the whole band several body-lengths in front of you. How the hell do those guys do it?!?

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