It was a tough weekend to expect lots and lots of people at the Rochester Tap Room, since Labor Day had everyone scrambling to eek out one last tribute to their summer plans. That being said, we had a wonderful time, making our own fun.
Carl and I arrived on that Friday to a good crowd of dinner guests, and quickly set up to get things started.
All eyes were on us when we finally grabbed two guitars and began our set. We started out very quiet and careful, getting a good handle on the rooms’ acoustics.
People were still coming in to fill the tables in the main area, just as we started to feel comfortable. In entertaining, that means, beginning simply and becoming accustomed to the geography and desires of the staff and patrons.
Beginnings are very, very important in entertaining. You set the tone of the night right from the start by what you play; how loud you are and most of all how professional you approach your audience.
We always try and be set up early and easily. (Not always that simple). We try and look professional in what we wear. We try and start simply, by picking music that we establish ourselves in the minds of those we are entertaining.
Tempo and volume carve out a model for our first song and a big part of our first set. It’s a long night, and making a good first impression helps us get through it without incident.
As the night eventually unfolds, and the pleasures of alcohol, food and music begin to ply the audience to loosen up and let down their inhibitions, it becomes time to quicken the tempo, be more aggressive and take them for that wild ride that they secretly hope to go on.
There were three big tables of our family, friends and supporters, situated front and center for us to interact with.
They certainly helped make the evening a memorable one, simply by showing up and heckling us.
My brother from Florida even made the trek out to Rochester, after he left the Aretha Franklin funeral he was attending. So glad he did, as the highlight of the evening was when he sat in and played guitar on a classic Poison song.
Obviously, by then, everyone was loosened up and ready for pretty much anything musically. Until the end of the night, that is exactly what they got.
We threw everything out there musically. Country, Motown, Irish, boat music and folk. It all had its place, and all seemed right at home in this eclectic venue.
Around midnight, everyone headed home, happy that they were able to be included in the show. For those of you that didn’t get the chance to stop by; as yourself this question . . .
What would you rather be doing, and with whom?
Maybe you’ll have it all figured out by the next time we are ready to entertain again. There’s still room in the van.
A big shout out to my brother from another mother, The Chipster!