Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ecstatic at Lestat's

Wow.  I'm not sure I can get words around how awesome last night was for me.  But I'll do my best.  

I went to Lestat's West Coffee Shop, in Normal Heights, to sign up for the drawing to perform in their Monday Night Open Mic Night.  Last Monday night was my third time in the drawing and the first time I got picked to perform.  My name got drawn next-to-last so I picked the final slot of the night, 11:00PM.  My nerves were calmer than last week, but I could still feel some pretty serious knots in my stomach as the host Chad Taggert started reading the names that were fished out of the bowl.  Last night, however, my name got drawn VERY early on, maybe 7th or 8th overall.  I was so surprised, it took me a moment to remember what time slot I wanted if I got drawn that early, and to shout it out.  I picked a slot around 9:00PM, so I could let people who might want to come see me play know and have some time to get there.

To my surprise and delight, FIVE of my new San Diego friends, John, Zoe (from the awesome band Sin + Seraphim), Carolyn, Julie and Renee all showed up by 9pm to see me play.  I was blown away and felt so much gratitude for their support.  It's amazing to me that I've lived in this city for four months and had people coming out like that. Talk about feeling welcomed and appreciated in one's new home!

My wonderful friends asked me both before and after if them coming had made me feel good or more nervous.  I think some of them might have been worried that knowing that people I know, but who have not seen me play yet, might have made me more nervous and disrupted my performance.  

To be 100% honest, when they first got there I did have a few moments of thinking, "Oh CRAP, I have to REALLY impress my friends and show them I'm good at this.  PRESSURE!!!" But those thoughts faded quickly, and were replaced by so much joy and gratitude for them being there.  My third week of playing live in San Diego, and I had fans in the audience!  How could I not love that?

When it was my time, I hopped up on stage with my Red Sox hat on.  I don't think I have ever worn a hat on stage before.  But it was Opening Day of the professional baseball season yesterday, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium 8-2, which made me super-happy.  I got to spend some really great times with my Dad last year, when I was back home in Maine for the summer, watching Red Sox games with him on TV and going together to see the minor league teams that are close by where my parents live.  So I just had to honor my rekindled love for baseball and the Red Sox by wearing my hat.

I played two songs, starting off with "Fly, Baby, Fly" (which, if you haven't heard it, you can see a live video of it on my YouTube Channel HERE).  Then I played "Pretty Blade Trickster" (live video HERE if you wanna watch), which continues to be so insanely fun to play live over a sound system, especially the great one they have at Lestat's West.

The audience was just fantastic, it was definitely the best response I've gotten yet in San Diego.  It felt so great to be up there playing my songs, knowing that my friends were there watching and listening.  I did have a few tiny, little moments were nervousness got the best of me and I didn't get the right finger on the right string or something.  But for the most part I was just happy, thrilled and grateful the whole time I was on stage.

I got to talk to my friends and some other folks after I got done playing.  I want to give huge, huge thanks to Renee, Julie, Carolyn, Zoe and John for coming to see me play.  I am so grateful to you all.  I also want to thank Joesph Devante Ali, who bought the second CD I have sold this week.  Joseph is a fantastic rapper himself, he performed later at 10pm, and his set was incredible.

As soon as I was able, I went back into the show and Chad Taggert, the host of the open mic played.  He played a cover of "You Are My Sunshine," which brought me to tears immediately.  Chad has one of the most beautiful styles of guitar playing and singing voices I've ever heard.  And the song was extra-special to me, because my grandmother, Lorraine Soucy, passed away recently.  We were (and still are) very close, and she was always supportive of my creativity from a very early age.  My grandfather, Louis "Red" Soucy, is a guitar player and singer himself, and "You Are My Sunshine" is one of his regular tunes.  He would often dedicate it to my Grammy, who would be in the audience.  Chad's beautiful performance of it made me feel that Grammy was right there with me, helping me on my journey from where she is now.

I also later saw Raelee Nikole, who I saw last Tuesday at the open mic at Rebecca's, and she gave a phenomenal performance once again.  I hate to mention her age, because I don't put that much stock in it for anyone playing music.  But at 17 years old, her confidence, ease with her audience, and positive, beaming energy on stage are very inspirational to me.  I also caught the set of Courtney Govin, who I had not seen before.  She has a raw, edgy style of guitar playing, mixed with a strong and beautifully versatile voice.  Her lyrics also impressed me - happy songs crafted with words of real, emotional power. 

I'll be going to play Charlie California's Tuesday Night Open Mic at Rebecca's Coffee Shop in South Park for the second week tonight.  That starts at 7:00PM PT.  And I'll be hitting to the 710 Beach Club for their open mic tomorrow (Wednesday) night, which starts at 9:00PM PT.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog here, and for reading.  I sincerely appreciate it.

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1 comment:

    Couldn't be happier for you, Collin!!
    You are one of my sunshines, too!

    Best of luck every where you sing!
    Grateful for supportive friends!!