I know, I know . . .
how could you possibly expect the unexpected?
My point, exactly.
When we look forward to playing Saturday afternoons/evenings at Bumper’s Landing in Harrison Township, we NEVER know what to expect.
In fact, I’ll let you in on one of our little secrets . . .
As Carl and I head out to Bumper’s (at about 4:15), we usually turn to each other and sigh, “It looks like we’re going to have another sleepy afternoon by the water.”
Oh, and the joke is real!
We never look too far into the gig because we never know what to expect. It’s always something different.
Possible variants include (but are not limited to):
Weather, Water level, People, Boats, Pets, Staff, Customers, Holidays, Bats, Events, Aliens, Owners, Politicians, Fish Flies, Musicians, Bachelorettes, Regulars, Security, Celebrities, Pirates, Illegal Aliens, The Purge.
On any given occasions, one or more of them could come into play to throw everything into flux. More times than not, one thing leads to another and then its as though something has disrupted the Space-Time Continuum. (and not in a GOOD way)
So we are left to deal with the consequences with smiles on our faces and a song in our hearts.
Don’t get us wrong, there is literally nowhere else that we would love to be. Bumper’s is our Nirvana, our musical Shangri La. For all these years and thousands of gigs we have played, this is the Holy Grail of gigs.
That being said, we always approach each Saturday with guarded optimism. We observe, scout, survey, and or generally try and catch the vibe as we arrive. We have been doing it long enough now to get a handle on how the night is going, right off the bat.
Just moving our gear up to the stage this time engaged a trio of young day drinkers who started things off with a bang. Our set-up was peppered with questions and suggestions, reviews and requests. It was fun already!
Yep, it was going to be an interesting evening.
Playing our first set, set the tone for the evening.
So far, we were all over the place, musically and thought-wise. (I wonder why . . .). Sometimes; I would say, most times, we have an ebb and flow to our sets. They begin with Yacht-Rock and then evolve from there to country, reggae and on to folk. From there it can take a turn to pops-ville, oldies or meld into good O’l Rock N Roll.
Regardless, wherever we may wander musically, we usually have a map to navigate with. We survey the customers and they give us plenty of indications on what they are enjoying.
(Reading the crowd is a whole other conversation; one that has taken us years to master.)
This crowd is pretty easy. Here at Bumper’s they are pretty laid-back and happy. They go with the flow more than not, and are the happiest people we have ever had the good fortune to entertain.
On this evening, we had plenty of regulars, plenty of newbies and a great mixture of the spectrum in-between. All of them content, all of them getting the most out of the laid-back vibe on the waterfront.
The weather was a little cool and it could have rained at any moment, but didn’t. Undaunted, we launched from listening music into dancing music as effortlessly as an Olympian changing positions on the Pommel Horse.
As the sun set the dancers took control and we just held on, as we do so many nights here. Luckily for us, the fish-flies weren’t cleared to fly, so they were manageable as our last song cascaded over the waves.
While is true that we never know what to expect. It is also true that if you expect just that, you will never be disappointed!