The weekend prior to The Brian Travis Band’s second performance at Bar Pico, my brother dropped off two of my nephews while he went to the Queen Mary for a private party with his wife and oldest son. While he was having a great time hunting for ghosts until 4am in the haunted halls of that decommissioned ship, I was entertaining a 3 year old and a 10 year old who were both coughing and hacking the entire time that they were under my watch.
Needless to say, those two little petri dishes spread enough bacteria around the house to infect a small country, and by the end of their stay I was well on my way to a future of spending days in bed with body aches, a terrible cough and a general feeling of malaise.
The worst part about falling ill before a gig is the fact that my voice dropped in register and lost about 60% of it’s power. The cold began to take hold the Wed before my show and I spent all day Thursday in bed drinking water and taking copious amounts of vitamin C. Thankfully, the morning of the show I felt a bit better…at least well enough to take the stage, however my voice was still less than 100% and I spent the entire drive down highway 1 trying to warm up my vocals.
When I arrived at the venue I had time to grab a great dinner at Rae’s. I opted for breakfast for dinner: eggs, ham, bacon, sausage and pancakes! I knew I was feeling better because I was famished from days of a strict soup and tea diet. The breakfast/dinner was so amazing that I had to snap a pic of the meal that fuels rock ‘n roll:
Unfortunately I managed to leave my camera in my gig bag during the gig and I have no pics of the gig that I am about to describe, so I’ll try to portray the experience in detail without boring you to death.
My songwriter friend Luna opened the show to a room that was already filling up. Her set was fantastic. Great songs, and a great acoustic sound. Her set was well received and by the end of her show, the room was completely filled with BTB fans and Friday night bar-goers.
Shortly after her last song, the BTB were setting up. 20 minutes later we opened our show with a tribute to The Alarm in honor of their yearly rock n roll event called The Gathering that kicked off the same night as our set at Bar Pico. After the ‘Declaration” style intro we launched into the show. The audience was very responsive and there were so many beautiful people in the audience hooting, hollering and dancing! We had a bit of an issue with feedback during ‘Gasoline’ but Joe fixed it and we restarted the tune without a hitch. I was pleased that my vocals were holding up despite having been fighting off a cold a few days prior.
The band and I took a 15-20 minute break in the middle of our show to grab beers and to mingle with the fans. It was so great to see everyone. The lovely Erin D who I met at a family reunion and who was leading the hooting, hollering and dance party in the front row was there and she brought 4 people with her! It was wonderful to see her again and I was so glad that she was truly enjoying our set to the fullest.
My good friend Michael was there and so were high school friends Brian and David. My newly engaged friend Patiel and her gorgeous co-worker Lauren were there. My jazz singing friend (and ‘Bigger Picture’ investor) Jacnique was there looking radiant. And sitting directly in front of me (saving toppling microphone stands from falling into the audience) was beautiful Lisa who was enjoying her very first BTB show. I was thrilled that we were playing to a venue packed with a great looking audience! It was also validating to get accolades from strangers who had never seen us play before. The proprietor of the bar also loved our set and offered us a paid residency at the venue asking us to play once a month.
Second set kicked off with Luna and I singing an acoustic new song called “Grand Heights”. The band and I went deep after that…rocking the second set into submission finishing with another new tune “Taney County Town” and closing with our standard closer “State I’m In” which Lisa observed had a “Cage The Elephant” vibe which was a comparison I loved to hear because Cage The Elephant completely rock!
The rest of the night was spent mingling with fans and friends outside of the venue in the warm southern California January weather. Lisa and I and a few friends had plans to get late night food, but after trying in vain to find the 10 freeway, we abandoned those plans and I made it home at 3am exhausted and feeling like my cold was threatening a comeback. A pre-emptive strike with some bedtime tea, vitamin C and off to bed with another show under my belt. Looking forward to the next one on Feb 24th at a warehouse space as live entertainment for an art show in Korea town. Also looking forward to another great night with friends and fans. Feeling good about how things are unfolding for us in 2012.