Dave's Birthday at the Spur
Jan 28: Seth’s First Practice
Seth comes over as the band sets up their equipment. We get a chance to talk a bit. Seth was really busy during the holiday season and hasn’t really had a chance to learn any of the songs. Eventually, we all get set up. We plug in and turn on.
As we start to do Doomis Walker, Seth asks if we can work out the vocal harmonies first. As we do this Seth slips into his “Choir Director” mode as we sing virtually occopella. It sounds cool. No, it sounds really cool. As we giggle at how cool we sound Kevin blurts out, “The guy acts like a choir director.” Seth then fills in the mystery by informing us that indeed HE IS A CHOIR DIRECTOR.
Yes, the newest member of Six Shooter is a multi-talented dude. He sings like an angel, plays guitar, harmonica, and totally KICKS ASS on the keyboards. Boners are rampant. If there was any doubt before, there is none now. It’s totally official. WE ARE THE SHIT.
Seth jams along with the band. We work on some vocals. There is such a difference between two and three part harmony. It is so cool, it is hard to put into words. The band picks a few songs they want to work on. John books a gig at the Tangled Spur for February 8 (Dave’s birthday). There is also a chance to play there on the 15th. The money from this gig will go to pay for a snake (should run around 300 bucks). Watch out world - Here comes Six Shooter -cocked and loaded!
Feb. 8: Seth’s First Live Appearance
Six Shooter takes the stage at the Tangled Spur (704 4th St. S.W.) on a special night. Dave has secured a new snake that passes everyone’s inspection. Dave has bought a hat for the gig (and another new shirt). It’s also Dave’s birthday. It’s also some girl named Tracy’s birthday. The band surprises Dave with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” and a giant cookie that says “Happy Birthday Dave.” Dave has distributed flyers that read, “Come out and celebrate Dave’s birthday and see if the old man can still jam.” He now feels a little pressure to really do something special.
The band is pumped to showcase their new keyboardists. While it was in the mid 40’s all week, the weather has turned to the traditional snow and cold. The band has learned three new songs with Seth. These are Desperado, The Dance and Little Rock. The band has been focusing on vocals these past practices. The three part harmonies give Dave goose-bumps. It’s so cool.
The band makes it through their first set, and everything seems to be going OK. The bar starts to fill up. Some Graphic people show up (Jeff Aul, Jeff Fritchley and Megan Benten). The second set features Seth. Dave explains how he’s always wanted a keyboardist that he could simply say, “Take it.” They launch into Doomis Walker. At the end, Dave looks over and says “Take it Seth!” Seth takes it, and kicks it’s ass. You couldn’t have asked for a better first impression.
Meanwhile, the band has become brain dead in some aspects. Dave starts off Watermelon Crawl on the wrong fret. Kevin is forgetting lyrics left and right. Dave’s not sure when or what to sing for back-up vocals. John has been involved in a lot of activity getting ready to move. He’s been approved for his new house. However, his lack of practice time shows. Just about the time Dave really gets pissed at John’s mistakes, he is informed that John’s problem is that the battery is going dead in his bass (OOPS!). Lee is stuck with the job of trying to keep up with a lot of improvisation on the stage. The band does their traditional speeding up of slow songs. This is something that needs addressed at practice There are couples on the dance floor as the band closes the set with “Fast as You.” Dave passes on venturing on to the floor as he is afraid he will be pelted with a drunken jitterbugger.
The band embarrasses Dave with an interesting version of Happy Birthday. They also sing to “Tracy.” Tracy has a group of people with her celebrating her birthday. The third set has the band doing the hot or cold routine. Musically we are either kicking ass or screwing up horribly. The good news is the crowd is just soaking us up. We’re having a lot of fun with Seth. The harmonies are sounding good. Seth finishes up his appearance with The Dance. It sounds so cool. Kevin nails the harmonies on “Little Rock” (an extremely high part). Kevin leans over to Dave and announces “I shot my wad.” However, his voice is fine for the evening. Seth gets a round of applause as he exits off the stage. The band finishes up the third set. The crowd continues to filter in. For a small bar, it’s pretty packed. Their are plenty of people behind the bar (where the band can’t see).
The band launches into their fourth set to a crowd full of tipsy patrons. The band is having a lot of fun, and the crowd is too. As Kevin puts it, “That was one of the best “Yee-Haws” we’ve ever heard. Meanwhile sitting on a bar stool Seth is approached by a drunken middle-aged wench we will call “Trixie.” Trixie really likes Seth. Seth is so polite he tries to give her the brush off. Trixie is rather forward and grabs Seth’s hands and attempts to pull him off the stool. Seth is NOT budging. About the time Seth has finally discouraged Trixie, Kevin yells “Go for it!” from the stage. Seth deeply appreciates this move. Finally, Seth gets Trixie to get the point. At this point, she moves on to ask Maria if she wants to dance. At this point, Seth jumps back on to the safety of the stage. If you look closely I believe you could see beads of sweat on his forehead.
The band launches into a few more songs with Seth to end the evening. The plan was to perform a “fake” last song. Then perform the actual last song as an “encore.” We forgot to announce the first “last song.” We then launched into what would be one of the best version of Fast as You the band has ever played. Dave ventured into the bar and entertained the boys back by the pool table as they hooped and hollered. Back on stage the band “brings it down” as Kevin introduces the band. Upon completing this Dave starts back up in a quiet solo (totally forgetting to announce Kevin! OOPS!). Dave asks the crowd, “Are you ready to blow the roof off of this place?” to which a rousing cheer is heard. The band shifts into over-drive and absolutely kicks ass. Seth’s keyboards add that crowning touch. We end what was supposed to be the last song only to have the crowd chanting for more. Dave feels his ego explode as the crowd chants his name and explain how it’s his birthday and he must play one more. He looks over at Kevin, who looks at John. What the Hell - one more tune.
How are we gonna top that song? Dave thinks. We pull out Walk softly on this heart of mine. All night Dave has been bumping his hat on anything within 30 feet. With this in mind, and in need of something different to take the performance to a new level. As the band winds up the song they get to the last part that is just Kevin and Dave on vocals. Dave turns to Kevin as he gets ready to sing as says, “Just a second K-man. I got to take off my hat to finish this song.” To this, the crowd on the dance floor (which includes about 90% of the bar) sends up another cheer (drunk people are so easy to entertain). Kevin and Dave do the vocal part and the band kicks in. Dave has a quick argument within his head and decides to play the guitar behind his head (a definite rock move). He bumps a light hanging from the ceiling on his way up. He plays for a little bit behind his head. Again, the drunken crew elicit woo-hoos. The band ends the song with a thunderous roar and the night is over. It was a great introduction of Seth, some really good playing, and some really awful playing. The good news the snake (which we didn’t use) is now pretty much paid off (we made $250). This will be greatly beneficial when we play the Red Dog Salloon in two weeks. We will be playing back here next week. This news has the crowd excited.
As we tear down the equipment numerous people approach us and praise our performance. They really liked us. As one person put it, “You’re the best band to ever play in here.” The “significant others” are laughing at all the white trash displayed during the evening. From 300 pound mountain men doing aerobics on the dance floor to an old codger who had eyes for Maria. As Kris said, “It was really entertaining.”
The bar, while small, is a cool place to play. This is enhanced since we do not have to drag our speakers out of the basement. What a night. What a birthday.